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about

So a few years ago, Charlie Parr, country bluesman, songwriter and reso guitar and banjo king of the Upper Midwest, and the Black Twig Pickers, scrappy stringband of the Virginia/West Virginia state line, are kicking up a storm at a house party in Blacksburg, Va. It had already been an evening to remember, with three generations of the Thornton family playing a set that included Curtiss, the eldest, singing a hair-raising “I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry” and accompanying himself on dobro. But now Parr and the Twigs are throwing down, ripping through fiddle tunes and blues while a houseful of rowdies dances, jumps and shouts. But then the guy that lives downstairs decides he’s had enough. Wearing his pajamas and a leather jacket, he’s standing on the back porch yelling, saying he’s calling the cops unless people quit stomping on his ceiling. The Twigs try a quieter, slower fiddle tune. People shout and stomp and shout some more. It’s time to go. Then Sally steps up and says she and her roommates are moving the party to their house, just a few blocks away. It’s Blacksburg, so nearly everything is just a few blocks away. Soon the ruckus resumes at Sally’s, with music and dancing into the early hours. Fast forward a few years. It turns out that Sally, besides being an excellent dancer, is a great fiddler and knows how to call a square dance too. She starts sitting in with the Twigs at dances. And Parr and the Twigs keep playing together whenever Charlie’s globetrotting tour schedule and the Twigs ‘ rounds of community events line up. Along comes EastMont Syrup: part reunion, part hoot, part lament for times and pals gone by -- and part sampler for what’s to come.

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released April 16, 2011

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The Black Twig Pickers Virginia

The Black Twig Pickers are a group defined by their forward thinking approach to a type of music most often associated with times gone by. The group has established itself as a collection of dedicated practioners of old time music re-cast and shaped by their appreciation of modern improvisation, drone, and punk. ... more

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