One is a fluke, two is an anomaly and three is clearly a trend. Bluegrass punk may finally be getting its due thanks to bands like Larry and His Flask, Old Man Markley, and Truckstop Honeymoon combining banjo with a stand-up bass, irreverent lyrics and a DIY punk rock attitude.
Steamboat in a Cornfield is the seventh record from the husband and wife team of Katie Euliss and Mike West. The 16-track record calls to mind everyone from the two aforementioned groups, Squirrel Nut Zippers and even Louis Armstrong. The Dixieland jazz sound comes natural to the duo who called New Orleans home before Hurricane Katrina pushed them on the road (the band eventually landed in Kansas, which I can only assume is the meaning behind the record’s title and song by the same name).
The duo take turns at the mic and their music is at its best when delivering quirky songs like “She Wants to Be French” or the “Grateful Dead Show,” hands down the best song ever written about a Deadhead trying to woo an underage girl.
Bluegrass has long been maligned thanks to its embrace by the pretentious and even worse, fans of jam bands, but the snickers and eye rolls may finally come to an end now that it’s been infected by fans of Social Distortion and The Clash.