FolkFire Reviews

January / February 1999 Issue

  • The Boney Goat Band: We’ve Shaved Our Backs and We’re Ready To Rock
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  • The Boney Goat Band: We’ve Shaved Our Backs and We’re Ready To Rock
    by Donna Eckberg

    Once you recover from the initial shock or amusement with the title, hunker down and butt heads with the goats. Our local old-time players take delight with such titles. This is a formidable collection of traditional tunes worthy of your attention. Featured are Mike Saputo on guitar, Rich Hibbs on banjo and vocals, Steve Mote on banjo, fiddle, vocals and jaw harp. The clawhammer banjo style rules, mastered by Rich Higgins with Steve Mote working in tandem on some tunes. Both were inspired by Jim Olin, a brilliant clawhammer banjo player whose memory lives on in Hibbs and Mote.

    Selections range from lone clawhammer banjo accompanying vocals on Little Rabbit to full tilt hoedown fiddle tunes like the Cold Frosty Morning/Kitchen Girl medley with Saputo contributing tasty mandolin licks. Humor abounds with jaw harp and nonsense lyrics sung by Mote on Horse Named Bill and my favorite, a medley playfully named Boi Oing . A poignant rendition of the Farmer’s Curst Wife is done in an old time narrative style expressing a timeless story of life with a nagging wife whom even the devil wouldn’t keep. Dueling banjos jam with harmony on Chinquapin Hunting and Bill Cheatham. Mote’s sliding fiddle style oozes down Muddy Roads and lopes through Black-eyed Susie.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to experience a unique approach to some of the more obscure traditional tunes floating in the collective subconscious. You’ll be kicking up the dust in your parlor.

    The Boney Goat Band will have their CD release party on Fri. Jan. 22, 1999 at 9 pm. at the St. Louis Brewery & Taproom, 21st & Locust. They will be playing for the Childgrove Country Dancers on Sunday, February 7 at the Just Dancing Studio, 7:30 pm. and will have their CD available.