The Whitetop Mountaineers have been touring Oz playing Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. Our friend Stephen Loss from WA, when he is not playing double bass for Bluegrass Parkway, seems to be tripping around the Australian festival circuit taking in the best on offer.
Stephen caught the Whitetop Mountaineers in concert at Woodford Folk Festival earlier this month. Here’s what he had to say: –
I had the pleasure of attending several performances of The Whitetop Mountaineers at the Woodford Folk Festival last week. From the first note of their show, I was left in no doubt that Martha Spencer and Jackson Cunningham are the real McCoy when it comes to Old Timey music. I imagined their high lonesome mountain voices and tasteful guitar, claw-hammer banjo, fiddle and mandolin accompaniment could have come straight out of Appalachia 80 or 90 years ago. It was obvious that this music has been in their blood for many generations, and this couple have been immersed in it since their conception.
Each performance included a good mix of secular and gospel songs, plus banjo, fiddle and mandolin instrumentals, all executed with ease and simple charm. Despite a heavy workload with at least two performances every day of the six-day festival, plus the high temperatures and humidity, Martha treated the audiences to her energetic and flamboyant clogging. It seemed her legs, arms and hair each had a mind of their own – she was sheer joy in motion.
If you like Old Timey music and get a chance to see The Whitetop Mountaineers as they tour NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, I would recommend it highly. It’s not often we get to see the real McCoy here in Australia. You won’t be disappointed Stephen Loss.