10/24/2014: Whiskey Bent Valley Boys and The Stampede String Band

So I went to see a show at the Hi-Fi in Fountain Square, a neighborhood making a comeback on the east side of Indianapolis. And wouldn’t you know it, a hoedown broke out?

Indiana’s own Stampede String Band opened and represented the Hoosier State well. Turns out, Moonsville – the title of their debut album and a small burg near Alexandria – is just down the road from Muncie, my hometown. John Bahler’s work on the mandolin was a pleasure to listen to, and the combo was tight. I’m hoping to catch them again, soon. (But you can dump the Royals cover, fellas. It’s the most overrated song of the last decade, and even Lorde’s mom is tired of hearing it.)

Then the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys stepped on stage and showed why they were the headliners. Two hours of non-stop bluegrass, a full house dancing and spilling beer, lots of hooting and requests shouted out periodically. I don’t know that I’d say it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever been to, but I’ve never seen a tighter relationship between a crowd and a band in a live setting. It was clear the Whiskey Bent crew was feeding off the energy of the crowd, and vice versa. If you’re a fan of that traditional mountain music sound – and even you newgrass backers – these guys are a must-see.

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