Thursday, August 29, 2013

Album Review: The Tillers - Hand on the Plow

I generally associate old time string music with the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains, but sometime fail to realize the significance of music culture on the western side. Particularly the music emanating from the northwestern edge of Appalachian coal country. But after receiving a copy of The Tillers Hand on the Plow, no longer. These former punk rockers become historians, cover the coal mining history of the area, the loss of farmland, the unionization caused by abuses from the coal companies, even going back into the Indian wars and the conflicts with Tecumseh and the Shawnee in Ohio.

Brothers Sean and Aaron Geil, along with Michael Oberst deliver a moving compilation of songs, from Old Westside to Weary Soul - a powerful finale for the CD.  In between you will be captivated by the musicianship and the lyrics - all raw and recorded straight to tape. This trio nails it.

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