With the unruly fervor of foot stomping and string picking, the Hackensaw Boys stir new life into Americana music and songwriting.
How many strings does it take to play bluegrass with a full-on rock 'n' roll spirit? The answer is 23, as in the 23 String Band.
Under the increasingly-crowded shade tree of a small hill, the 80-degree weather and cool breeze perfectly matched the sounds drifting from the side speakers. Such was the scene of my introduction to Railroad Earth four years ago.
Railroad Earth is perhaps best known for its vast array of influences which include bluegrass, jazz, classic rock and traditional Irish, just for starters.
Derided in countless jokes, often by the very people that play it, the banjo just might be poised to show us why it really is the greatest instrument ever. Or, at the very least, to make a good case as to why it isn't the worst.
Music isn't a sport though the idea of a top 10 list can make it seem competitive. It isn't like that, of course, but there are some recordings that are, well, better than others.