With the full-house sign going up several weeks ago, and the band refreshed from several days of good old southern Victorian hospitality provided by The Stringbusters, Hungry Hill continued on from their well-received Australian debut at Harrietville with an intimate performance for 250 people.
The night kicked off with the Strzelecki Stringbusters warming up the crowd with their unique, large ensemble sound. The boys have worked hard this year to establish a Bluegrass & Old Time savvy crowd by inviting other acts to appear at their monthly pub gigs. With this night being the last for the year, something special was called for, and Hungry Hill provided the show of the year!
The large crowd jostling for drinks at the bar was silenced by the stunning vocals & harmonies, intricate arrangements, and the fluid dance of the members weaving in and out of the central microphone’s range. Those lucky enough to get a close-up seat were treated to a full display of the attributes that make acoustic music so pleasurable to see & hear.
With their regular banjo player Ross Nickerson on leave in Queensland, local banjo player Greg McGrath was invited to fill the void, and with little time to rehearse, did a marvellous job. Local up and coming mandolin player, Lachy Davidson joined them all in for their 2nd set, trading fiery solos with Bob Hamilton, and also gave Jenny’s fiddle a good work-out too. The night concluded with the Stringbusters squeezing on stage for two last songs.
Performing tunes from their recent CD Ride along many old favourites, Hungry Hill’s time on stage was all too brief, but they leave the Yinnar district with no doubt as to their popularity amongst the locals. This affection was reciprocated, with Jenny publicly thanking all involved in making their 3 day stay enjoyable and relaxing, including a heartfelt thank you to their ‘new best friends’, The Stringbusters, for affording them such a wonderful reception.
The Yinnar Hotel and the local community’s reputation for providing a hospitable mid-week gig for touring artists continues to increase. With the Whitetop Mountaineers slated for March 31, and a few more international irons in the fire, 2010 will be even bigger.