The Hackensaw Boys,
Keep It Simple
(self-produced, 2002)

Traditional bluegrass is alive and well in Charlottesville, Va., as the Hackensaw Boys prove, rather joyfully, on Keep it Simple.

For this record, the boys are Peepaw, Shiner, Uncle Blind Bobby, Skeeter, Salvage, Mahlon, C.B., Belouse Legosee, Kooky-eyed Fox and Jig-saw, with Slate Hill Phil and Roscoe, and they played accordion, banjo, banjo, charismo, dobro, double bass, fiddle, fiddle, guitar, guitar, harmonica, mandolin and washboard. Recorded over five days in Shiner's space, using two Neumann TLM103 microphones and one Audio Technica 4033 microphone, this record is 50 minutes of smokin' tunes and grass bluer than a Virginia summer sky.

Highlights: the frantic fiddle tune "Blue Run," the joyous "Ruby Pearl," the waltzin' love song "When You Said I Love You" and the old-time gospel tune "Keep Me Lord."

There is nothing quite like the sound of well-played instrumental music and full-throated singing. Keep it Simple has both in abundance.

- Rambles
written by Rachel Jagt
published 21 June 2003

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