Jaybird & Sparrow-Hawk
The Prairie Acre plays a mixture of old-time music and traditional bluegrass, a combination that's guaranteed to get the whole family clapping and singing. With first-rate musicianship and a squeaky-clean image, The Prairie Acre makes no apologies for being a band you can bring home to mom and dad. The band's unique sound comes from the jaw-dropping fiddle skills of Tricia Spencer, from banjo player Noah Musser's unorthodox hybrid style, and from the strong rhythmic backbone provided by bassist Virginia Musser and blues-influenced guitarist Greg Yother. Their repertoire includes a mixture of fast-paced instrumental tunes and singing numbers executed with tight vocal harmonies. This CD differs from The Prairie Acre's previous albums in that it does not follow the path of the Bill Monroe-style bluegrass tradition developed in the late 20th Century. Instead, it reaches back further in time to resurrect traditional American songs including "Sugar Hill," "Jawbone," "Ida Red," and "Sail Away Ladies." The result is a batch of songs with evocative lyrics about subjects including unrequited love, biscuits and gravy, cider, rocking the cradle, going down to Tennessee, and riding straddle on a hump-back mule. REVIEW: "One of the most accomplished string-band outfits in the Midwest. ... Jaybird and the Sparrow-Hawk is loaded with hot doses of revivalist old-timey fare, documenting the sound of a band hitting it's stride and having a heck of a good time doing it." Richard Gintowt, Lawrence.com.