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Saturday, 30 March 2013 12:00

Old Salt Union 3/30/13

Old Salt Union 3/30/13 OldSaltUnion.com
Written by Kevin Edwards
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About this Media...

  • Date Recorded: March 30, 2013
  • Artist / Band: Old Salt Union
  • Hosting Show: Down Yonder
  • Sound: Dan Kinney

Old Salt Union hail from Belleville, Ill., a little town just across the river from St. Louis and the home of gone-but-not-forgotten Uncle Tupelo. However, these boys have more in common with Sam Bush and newgrass than Messrs. Tweedy and Farrar.

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Old Salt Union was formed by Dustin Eiskant, on guitar and lead vocal, Ryan Murphey on banjo and Justin Wallace on mandolin. They soon added John Brighton on violin and mandolin and Jesse Farrar (son of Colonel Ford bassist Dade Farrar and the nephew of Jay Farrar) on bass but each member plays multiple instruments and contributes vocal harmony.

"Walk Away" sounds like classic country with its fiddle fills and two-step beat. "Mississippi Breakdown" starts slowly but then bursts into a hoedown that is only in need of a barn and seats made of straw. "Where I Stand" sounds something like a great Old Crow Medicine Show song, and "Movin' On" is a toe-tapper, but both have an edge that is reminiscent of the tone and attitude of the Devil Makes Three.

The longer newgrass, or jamgrass, numbers like "Flat Baroque" are missing from this set but are certainly represented on the band's debut album "Western Skies" and in the band's live show. This set, however, is a joy to hear as these local boys seem to be having more fun than might be allowed.

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