Dry Branch Fire Squad - Live! At Last
Live! At Last
By Dry Branch Fire Squad
Very Good Condition
Would you like to know why this band is so different from the others? It's a matter of receptivity, of openness to a tradition. The leader of this band, Ron Thomason, is fiercely proud of the ancestry of the music he plays and his models and materials are drawn from a longer span of time than most musicians know or use. At a time when most bands conform to the idea that progress requires fusing bluegrass with popular music, Ron is reaching further into the well-spring and his well-spring is deep. There is another side to this band that must be heard and this other side is humor. While all participate in the humor in one way or another, the master is Thomason. His ability to direct an audience is amazing. Under his direction full barrooms grow so quiet you can hear the soda in your glass fizz or audiences become so convulsed with laughter that minutes pass before the show can continue." --Joe Wilson This record captures much of the hilarity of the Dry Branch show while showcasing the best edition of the band yet -- performing not only many of their most requested numbers but also songs that appear here for the first time.
This 1995 recording captures the Squad's mixture of hillbilly humor (allegedly the basis for much of Jeff Foxworthy's work) and their formidable folk and bluegrass. Lead jokester Ron Thomason handles the comedy with an exaggerated drawl and a somewhat trite hillbillies-are-dumb theme. When it comes to actual music, however, the Squad can truly light it up. Thomason's mandolin and Bill Evans' banjo impressively race through standards including "John Henry," "Late Last Night," and "Blue Grass Breakdown." Gentle ballads such as "Aragon Mill" and the lovely "Hard Times" are handled with sensitivity while "Red Rocking Chair" showcases Suzanne Thomas' clawhammer banjo. While the comedy may become stale (especially after repeated listenings), it's nothing the CD program function can't handle. --Marc Greilsamer