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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Packway Handle Band: What Are We Gonna Do Now?

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As the market for neo-traditional acoustic music seems to grow each year, Athens' Packway Handle Band has found a ready-made audience. With its fourth full-length release, What Are We Gonna Do Now?, the band delivers more of what launched it into the spotlight in the first place. Musically, the band retains a very primitive and conventional arrangement – fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar and bass. But within that standard paradigm they manage to be creative and make it interesting, with a little unusual help from friends on sax and flute. The wit and wisdom of the lyrics also stand out, as the sarcastically humorous "I'm Glad You've Got My Priorities So Straight" addresses the commonly experienced issue of being told what to do by those who can't seem to do for themselves. Other standout tracks include "Who Do You Think You Are?" and the pleasant instrumental "Horse vs. Technology." (Self-released) 4 out of 5 stars.

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