Mountain Music Recordings

Like me, your first exposure to the VW Boys, a bluegrass and comedy act, may have been their small but eye-catching (to say the least) ads here in Bluegrass Unlimited showing the trio shoulder to shoulder with a plumber’s helper plunged through their collective ears. On the cover of their aptly-named new CD, Listen To The Music, the guys are similarly embraced by an overarching set of headphones.

What makes this outfit from Blountville, Tenn., especially fun is that their humor is bolstered and boosted by solid musicianship. Banjo player Tim White, bassist “Fat Albert” Blackburn, and guitarist Dave Vaught are fine pickers and also very good singers, both as lead vocals and in their tight trio. That’s evident from the opening title track, an enjoyable reworking of the Doobie Brothers rock/pop hit, followed up by the light-hearted Flatt & Scruggs classic “Down The Road.” Their humor is here, not to see of course, but to hear so clearly that you can almost imagine it clearly as a video: Hey, how can you possibly resist the VW Boys’ renditions of “Love Potion Number Nine,” “Five Pounds Of Possum,” and “If My Nose Was Running Money (I’d Blow It All On You)?”

The guest musicians are just great: Lou Reid (mandolin and fiddle), Hunter Berry (resonator guitar), Travis Houck (resonator guitar), and Leon Frost who plays (and I quote verbatim from a VW Boys press release) “perka-lighter, 1928 Ford hubcap, bongos, handsaw, salt shakers, and other unidentifiable percussion items.” A final bonus track recorded in concert was maybe funnier live, but it wraps up a very listenable and enjoyable outing by the irrepressible VW Boys. (Tim White, P.O. Box 750, Blountville, TN 37617, www.vwboys.com.)RDS

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