Bluegrass Drive-By

Record Review

Bluegrass Drive-By

The Drunkard's Progress (Magic Frog) The revved-up revisionist bluegrass thing is certainly nothing new at this point, with practitioners like Split Lip Rayfield, the late, lamented Killbilly, and, of course, the Bad Livers having torn it up for ages now. Still, the bluegrass style just seems to lend itself to high-octane playing and arrangements. Austin's Bluegrass Drive-By don't take things to the extremes of Split Lip, but their stuff is still far from traditional. Their debut kicks off with "Holiday Rambler," a fond ode to an RV; from there the band lets fly with songs like "Vegan in the Woodpile," "Hog Nut," and "Mean Streak," song titles that indeed say it all. Things aren't all corn likker and hog jowls, though; "Mohammed's Breakdown" finds banjo, mandolin, guitar, and bass plying a weird Persian swirl of an instrumental. The vocals and three-part harmonies don't quite have the polish of, say, the Stanley Brothers (who does?), but the playing is impeccable throughout, particularly banjo player Brent Livingston. Like your traditional music done with an irreverent bent? Check out Bluegrass Drive-By.

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