Brian Mylar's Americana Music Blog: Whiskey Shivers

Youthful Austin band mixes bluegrass music, comedy

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SAN ANTONIO - To view a slideshow of images from the show, click here.

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Whiskey Shivers came to San Antonio on a misty, dreary February night, but it wasn't long after they took the stage at Sam's Burger Joint that the entire city was lit up by their contagious enthusiasm and musical ability.

The band is based in Austin and plays folk/bluegrass/old-time music. But they're much more than that. The band includes a guitar, fiddle, banjo, upright bass and washboard -- all the instruments needed for the traditional bluegrass sound.

But Whiskey Shivers is anything but traditional.

For one thing, the entire band plays barefoot. (Okay, so maybe in the Kentucky hills you'll get a barefoot bluegrass band, but not in downtown San Antonio!) True to their name, the band also takes shots of whiskey once or twice during a show.

They also yell a lot. And laugh. And sweat. And cuss. But what's most important is their enthusiasm.

It is clear that they like playing music and they like having fun. And that enthusiasm transfers to the audience. Even if you don't like bluegrass, you would marvel at their talent and good humor.

To view a slideshow of images from the show, click here.

Batholith is the name of their latest album and if you didn't know they were into comedy as much as music, you'd know by the names of some of the songs on this album: "Wookie Boogers," "Mole in the Ground," "Drunk Dial" and "Ball," just to name a few.

Here's what is written on their website about the album: "In geology, a batholith is a 'large emplacement of igneous intrusive rock.' It is formed when several 'plutonic diapirs' (say it out loud!) rise through and melt the surrounding country rock. And just like this latest album from Whiskey Shivers, Batholiths are huge, irregular, inappropriate, and impossible to ignore."

The names of the band and their talents are listed on the album as such:

  • Bobby Fitzgerald- Fiddle, hollerin
  • Evan Heidtmann- Banjo, croakin
  • Horti- Guitar, kazooin
  • Andrew Vanvoorhees- Bass, sobbin
  • Joe Deuce- Washboard, quippin

Their website has all the information about their music and upcoming shows. It also shares this about the formation of the band and its philosophy:

Born in a woodpile in the twilight months of ought nine, we came from all corners of the US looking to do one thing: to knock the dust off roots music.

Upright bass, fiddle, washboard, banjo and guitar; a traditional arrangement for some not so traditional music.

Along with our many originals, we breathe new life into old standards, always searching for the true soul of this country's earliest means of hoein' down! Whether that means finding the groove in a song like Red Rocking Chair, or the sheer joy of Salt Creek, we never stop looking for that elusive Appalachian spirit.

Whether it's a foot-stompin hootenanny you're after, or nice two-step or even music to lose consciousness to, we've got it covered!

My advice is to check out this band before they catch the right ears and hit it big.

To view a slideshow of images from the show, click here.


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