Music News

Critic's Choice

The Hackensaw Boys, a primitive-sounding string band with modern-day flair, are a plucky eight-man acoustic unit of colorfully named mountain-bred Virginians, including Jigsaw, Skeeter, Spacey, Tater and Pee Paw. Playing everything from fiddles, dobros and spoons to a curious percussion device called the charismo (hand-built by Salvage Hackensaw himself), the Charlottesville-based collective specializes in dusty Americana: old-timey bluegrass, gospel, folk, roots music and even an occasional dose of gypsy jazz. The Boys apparently also specialize in tilting back suds -- so much that they've found themselves headlining the Mountain Sun Pub Brewgrass Jamboree and Hootenanny with Young and in the Gutter, Saturday, January 24, at the Boulder Theater (there's also a silent auction to benefit the Nature Conservatory). Boasting full-throttle runaway tempos and more than a few laconic tales of train wrecks and dead relatives, the rustic groovers have an exceptional pair of self-released records under their collective belt: the fiery debut album from 2001, Get Some, and its live followup from a year later, Keep It Simple. After earning unlikely crossover recognition during 2002's Unlimited Sunshine Tour (a national festival that showcased Cake, Modest Mouse, De La Soul and the Flaming Lips), the band continues to bring its unapologetically traditional sound to the masses. Somewhere, Bill Monroe is smiling.