Schemes for going back in time

By SAM PFEIFLE  |  August 22, 2012

That slide shows up in "Viola Lee Blues," though, one of two songs the Bones play of Gus Cannon's. A Memphis Blues man of the '20s and '30s, Cannon is probably best known for his "Big Railroad Blues," a song the Dead played and was on that Roots of the Grateful Dead compilation from the mid-'90s. Also, Wikipedia has this to say about him: He taught himself to play on "a banjo that he made from a frying pan and raccoon skin."

Hey, Doc Watson got his start with a banjo made from the skin of his family cat.

Tumbling Bones do the blues here in hiccoughing swagger, with a harmonica breakdown, a rattling tambourine, and Jake Hoffman selling his soul to the lead vocal. Cannon's "Prison Wall Blues" gets the old-time Dixie treatment, with Stowaway Steve Roy clipping his notes on the bass to ape the tuba.

Setting up residence here in Portland, Tumbling Bones join what is already a strong cadre of bands mining this space. They don't overlap overly much on anyone in particular, though, and probably emphasize their vocals most of anyone locally in the stringband subset, which I'm eager to see work live.

SCHEMES | Released by Tumbling Bones | at Mayo Street Arts, in Portland | Sept. 1 | tumblingbones.bandcamp.com

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Music Features , Bela Fleck, Old Crow Medicine Show, State Theatre,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY SAM PFEIFLE
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   FIRST SECOND COMING  |  August 22, 2014
    Hey, look, I Discovered a Planet
  •   THE CRUNK WITCH THAT THEY ARE  |  August 14, 2014
    Three albums in, Crunk Witch are now far more than novelty. The all-digital, husband-wife duo of Brandon Miles and Hannah Collen have created enough material at this point to establish a clear method behind what can sometimes seem like madness.  
  •   FIRE ON FIRE  |  August 07, 2014
    From the varying deliveries and styles through the three fully instrumental tracks, there’s a lot to consider in Pyronauts , with equal attractions in playing it loud in the car with the windows down and in the headphones.
  •   HIP HOP SUMMER  |  July 31, 2014
    For pure output, it’s hard to argue Portland is anything but a hip hop city.
  •   SEVEN-MAN ARMY  |  July 24, 2014
    Lately, it’s been open season on “Wagon Wheel,” which has become the acoustic musician’s “Freebird,” one of the very few songs that people actually know well enough to find it funny to request.

 See all articles by: SAM PFEIFLE