Hackensaw Boys take their new s/t album into NL and BE this month09-12-2022
Hackensaw Boys are roots music shapeshifters. With their new self-titled album they make a triumphant return into the Netherlands and Belgium. The band have been operating as a sort of musical collective for over two decades now, carving a songline that traverses all genres of American roots music and is known for their energetic live shows.
After a six year hiatus, and a battle with vocal polyps that resulted in surgery, founding member, songwriter, and guitarist David Sickmen assumed leadership of the band. He says “...after struggling internally for years to decide what was Hackensaw Boys material and what was not, I realized my life experiences are actually what makes the songs real for me, and therefore good Hackensaw material.”
In 2015 he developed an ethos “to play good shows, and be responsible citizens,” which has fueled the group’s longevity and helped them to weather the ebb and flow of musical tastes du jour, as “alt-country” transitioned to “Americana”. Hackensaw Boys have been around so long that Sickmen’s own son Jonah has now joined the ranks on this new effort, taking lead on one of the band’s more notorious innovations, the charismo—an instrument that symbolizes the ever evolving nature of the band. The charismo is a collection of found objects, worn like a washboard, but played percussively like a drum set. The amalgamation of sounds from tin cans and scrap steel, often picked up on the road and attached to the one of a kind instrument, lend a one of a kind sound to the band, and a sound that changes just a bit as the years pass by.
Much has been said about Hackensaw Boys’ ability to constantly push forward in roots music since 1999, and rightfully so. Sure, their collective has at times seen now-famous solo artists such as John R. Miller and Pokey LaFarge among their ranks. Yes, they’ve shared stages with huge names ranging from Del McCoury to Modest Mouse. But what is perhaps most important about Hackensaw Boys is their steadfast commitment to leading new generations into a world of roots music that honors the legacy of the sound, while finding ways to forge ahead. They’ve got a sound so intentional and so original that one might even mistake the deep cut Bob Dylan cover “All I Really Want To Do” for a Hackensaw original, and it’s a testament to their own writing. Hackensaw Boys have found a way to spiritually combat the battle of attrition that eventually kills most bands, and it’s a straightforward one. They’ve simply remained true to their mission statement: “to raise a little hell, encourage a more peaceful world, and bring the music back to its roots in a working-class American vernacular.”
12/12: Antwerp, BE - Rock Lobster
13/12: Leiden, NL - Q-Bus
14/12: Groningen, NL - Vera
15/12: Deventer, NL - Burgerweeshuis
16/12: Middelburg, NL - Spot
17/12: Kinderdijk, NL - De Klok
18/12: Weert, NL - De Bosuil
20/12: Utrecht, NL - TivoliVredenburg
21/12: Breda, NL - Mezz