Bluegrass has truly become an international phenomenon, and here's a band from Amsterdam, Holland to prove it. HoboStringBand is a skilled ensemble of seasoned performers, and their instrumentals, from "Borrita Brosted," a busy fiddle number, to "Fishers Hornpipe," are engaging and lively. "Sweet Gals Rag" is also bouncy, yet brief. These performances are complete, they simply run for a shorter time. So listeners accustomed to longer three-minute songs will likely find themselves wishing for more, and reaching for repeat play. There's a European flavor to the vocals, which is a bit of a curious effect on "The Drifter," as it's a gunslinger ballad. The vocalist is quite articulate, though, and listeners will become accustomed to the accent. Also, considering that the American West was settled by people from all over the world, it's entirely possible that someone who was born in the Old Country could travel there and sing just such a song. So, while it sounds different than what a typical bluegrass audience may be accustomed to, it is an agreeable difference. Their version of "Drunken Sailor" is distinctive, also, with some rapid-fire fiddling and an enthusiastic group chorus. Sea chantey meets Eurograss, with catchy results -- rousing! So, for a fast, fun listen with its own unique take on bluegrass, pick up a copy of HoboStringBand's album Fiedel, and enjoy.
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