Do you remember the first time you heard live bluegrass music? Maybe it came through a crackly radio broadcast, or in the distance at a campground where the music was being played. If you were lucky, it happened in the cool night air with the popping of campfires and the smell of wood smoke to accompany the aggressive strains of the banjo, mandolin, and fiddle.
When I hear The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys I’m taken back to when I first fell in love with this music. Each is a master of their craft, but it’s the special joy they take in playing it “the old time way” that commands your attention. This music hails from a time before people saw bluegrass and country music as separate things, and the band accomplishes that most difficult of musical tasks by capturing the manic energy of their live shows in the studio.
A recent European tour cemented the fact that audiences of every type respond to their passionate and heartfelt portrayals of these first iterations of bluegrass music. People reacted like they had never heard music like this before, and perhaps they hadn’t. And the band loved them back. You know, Europeans know a thing or two about old stuff.
In fact, I’m not completely sure that a couple of these boys wouldn’t take a one-way passage back to the ‘50s if given the chance. Be glad, instead, that they are here and now, and we can all enjoy the ride.
John Lawless, Bluegrass Today