March 20, 2011

A Hawk And A Hacksaw | Cervantine

ARTIST:  A Hawk And A Hacksaw
TITLE:  Cervantine
LABEL:  L.M. Dupli-cation
REVIEW:  Jeremy Barnes, founder of the New Mexico-based duo A Hawk And A Hacksaw, is best known as the drummer in the indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel.  Here he plays accordion and his bandmate is violinist Heather Trost; they’ve been working as a duo since 2004 and they’re joined here by American and British musicians who share their interest in the music of eastern Europe.  I’m generally pretty averse to indie-rockers who dabble in global exotica, but this band stopped dabbling a while ago – they’re fully immersed in Romany (gypsy) music, having spent two years living in Hungary and much time traveling and playing with musicians throughout the region.  Until now, A Hawk And A Hacksaw’s efforts have left me cold, but with this album I think they’re really onto something.  This is 21st century social music, raw and spontaneous and at the same time worldly and informed by cross-cultural points of view.  Really worth a listen for fans of Balkan music and folk music in general who are ready for something a little bit different.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
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