VHF continues to keep sharpening the edge of Appalachia, following the excellent new album from The Black Twig Pickers with the debut from kindred souls Eight Point Star. With the Twig’s Mike Gangloff providing a fiddle line that snakes from drone floats to bluegrass bends, the album finds itself wandering between old time traditions and the ghosts buried below the floorboards of the barn. Sparring with Mike Peyton’s guitar and the clatter of bass and sruti box from Howell / Thornton, the band moves easily from nature-made sunsoakers to hypnotic pieces that play with modality and meditation.
The jubilant opener sets the ball rolling down the hill before letting the listener spin in place on the darker follow-up, “Waiting on the Band – The Interloper”. The headswum feeling hangs on through the twists of “Flowerthrower”. Then, the dark clouds part for a while as the band begins to enjoy their perch on the front porch, storming through dust-kicked visions that can’t help but lighten the heart a bit. The sun never lasts, but when the band is doused in its rays, they feel resplendent in their bluegrass bliss. It’s been a good year for old time updates, and if the shelf next to your copies of BTP, Bowles/MacKay, and Russell Hoke have room, then this one should fit nicely.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.