If there’s any kind of party going on, when the sun’s shining or no, if there’s barbecue coals warming up and a good-sized tent set up for entertainment, cornbread and sweet tea to start, grilled foodstuffs and harder liquor to follow, there should also be The Black Twig Pickers, a turkey in the straw and the ladies hopping high on a “Merry Mountain Hoedown” all the way to Napoleon’s retreat by way of the “Brushy Fork of John’s Creek.”Following on from the upright and whirlsome sounds of Ironto Special comes Whompyjawed – which means crooked, off-centre; but here it sounds redolent of getting fiddle-ache from playing energetic music for far too long, but pleasurably, exhaustedly so. This is the record which would doubtless suit any old wedding, birthday and/or Bar-mitzvah, and with its blend of tunes old, new borrowed and blues, will fill in through the magic of the gramophone player (because it’s on vinyl, one winding track continuously mixed for celebratory delirium per side) for those sad occasions where the band are otherwise already booked up and unavailable to provide the dance music for the occasion.
So get a-raising the barn, putting that hoe well and truly down, publishing the banns, and throwing back the carpet and scuffing up the floorboards, and get to making like it’s a holiday even when it’s a mid-week schoolnight and raining once again. The Black Twig Pickers are on the fiddle, and the banjo and harps too, whooping and a-hollering like there just might not be a tomorrow, though today there’s going to be plenty of time to exclaim “fiddlesticks” with complete accuracy. Do be sure to give the fiddler a dram too, because he certainly sounds like he deserves one, and so do the rest of the band; in fact, let’s make it redeye all round, and keep on dancing.
-Antron S Meister-