Folk Underground,
Get Y'er Hands Off 'Me Booty
(Happyfun, 2004)

The band's first CD was an exploration of gothic folk. Now, Folk Underground goes renaissance with Get Y'er Hands Off 'Me Booty, the sort of album that requires musicians to dress like pirates and wenches while performing on bare wooden stages with the smell of turkey legs in the air.

Folk Underground is Lorraine Garland on fiddle and vocals, Trevor Hartman on djembe, accordion, mandolin and vocals, and Paul Score on guitar and vocals. According to the CD cover, they did indeed dress like a wench and two pirates for this live recording.

The songs are largely familiar to those who sail Celtic waters, but Folk Underground doesn't usually do them like other folks do. Traditional songs include "Bally Bay," "Han-An-Tow," "Old Main in a Garret," "I'll Tell Me Ma" and "Knickbocker Line" (the latter coupled with "Drowsy Maggie" and making clever use of Lorraine's former status as a Flash Girl). The endlessly popular "Star of the County Down" takes on a funky mien.

Lorraine leads the way on instrumentals, fingers flying on the fiddle on several lively tracks, a few of which are of her own composition. "Jazz Morrison's" takes a well-used traditional piece and gives it (surprise!) a jazzy flair. And there are a few other vocal chestnuts as well -- a pro-drink "Rakes of Mallow," for instance, and the delightfully sinister and homicidal "Tea & Corpses," written by Neil Gaiman.

To end the album, Folk Underground gets weird(er). "Let Your Love Flow," made famous by the Bellamy Brothers, gets gruff treatment here that, well, works.

So, if you like the sort of music you hear at renaissance fairs but would enjoy something a little different, too, just Get Y'er Hands Off 'Me Booty. Get it, I mean. The album is fun and clever to boot.

by Tom Knapp
14 January 2006

[ visit the artist's website ]