Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The Waybacks Neo-Traditionalism
"Tradition in Transition" is the title of the cover article in next to last No Depression It focuses on how young bands such as Crooked Still, The Avett Brothers, Uncle Earl and Chris Thile's new project the Punch Brothers are innovatively changing traditional acoustic music. A couple of bands that aren't as young as the subjects of the ND article that also fit the bill are The Steeldrivers and the subject of this post, The Waybacks.
The Waybacks new album Loaded is remarkable. Releasing on Compass Records March 25th it was produced by Byron House and features guest appearances by Sam Bush among others. The album represents a new direction for the band that is largely the influence of touring with Bob Weir and Ratdog. Loaded mixes their frenetic traditional sound with the free form eclectic influences of Weir along with, Honky-Tonk, Irish and Swing. The Band started out as an acoustic side project for San Francisco Bay area electric guitar player James Nash. They used to be a five piece outfit that played as many traditional tunes as originals. Though they were their own versions to say the least, which made them favorites of the Merlefest dance stage for the last few years. They dropped two original members and recently added excellent fiddle player and songwriter Warren Hood. Also, they are no longer just acoustic. Nash shows off his electric chops with great results on this album. The creative overflow on the album is evidenced by the fact that all of the songs on are original. So mark the 25th on your calendar and pick this one up.
This review also appears on