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The Bagboys

Just Say Moo – 2000 (Hairy Moon)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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CDs by The Bagboys

It may come as a surprise to many, but the Boston bluegrass scene has long been among the most active and varied in the country. The Bagboys have been part of that scene for more than a decade, and their second CD release features more of their mixture of straight bluegrass ("Lost And I'll Never Find The Way"), Western Swing ("Deep Water") and even a sly tip of the hat to '30's-era novelty stars The Hoosier Hot Shots with "That's Right! (I May Be Wrong)," a song that, like most of the other 11 tracks, is a band original reflecting their generally wry and good-natured approach to their music.

The Bagboys are solid and competent both instrumentally and vocally, though probably a little stronger on the former, and it's "Sister Gretchen Bag" (Gretchen Bowder) who stands out on both. Her banjo playing, in particular, is fresh and inventive, and stays nicely away from all the standard licks. "Dusty Bag" (Andy Hall) gets some nice dobro work in as well. While many bands have trouble making the jump from stage to studio, this disc resonates with the energy and spontaneity of a live performance. (Bagboys, Box 604, Medford, MA 02155, The Bagboys)