Black Twig Pickers

Exploring the stringways of our corner of the mountains, eternal one-song and Turkey in the Straw.

BOOKING/PROMO: Download the Black Twig Pickers one-sheet at our Downloads tab above. And here is the Thrill Jockey press page for us. And here are larger photos and sound clips and more at the Downloads tab. And look to the Reviews tab for a stack of very kind writeups. And visit us on Facebook.

Contact the Black Twig Pickers at

Winter 2015: New record with Steve Gunn on the way!! Take a gander here or here for hints -- release date is in February!

While you're waiting for the new Black Twig Pickers record to land, you might want to check out Mike's album with Cara or Nathan's new album.

We're waiting out the cold weather with lots of fiddle and banjo tunes, and with our monthly shows at the Cellar in Blacksburg, Va., where we're looking forward to more fantastic guests (most recent: Elisa Ambrogio in January). We'll also be back at the Floyd Country Store dances a bunch this year.

Thanks, everyone who's come out to those, and we hope to see you again soon. Keep an eye to the shows page or the Black Twig Facebook page for details on live appearances and general shenanigans.

And check the Thrill Jockey FINA site for downloads, and remaining copies of releases that we're sold out of here.

You may also be able to find some of the earlier Black Twig Pickers releases here or here.

Stay warm, friends.

  • Seasonal Hire has arrived February 25, 2015
  • Rough Carpenters official release February 18, 2013
  • Big thanks to UK friends, and...WHOMPYJAWED July 26, 2012
  • England-bound! July 5, 2012
  • This week in Lewisburg, W.Va. June 18, 2012
  • Thank you, England, Scotland, Belgium folks! May 2, 2012
  • England, Scotland, Belgium! April 16, 2012
  • Natch! free download music Black Twig Pickers & Steve Gunn February 3, 2012
  • A view from the store November 30, 2011
  • Pigeons alight in Europe, Black Twig madness in West Virginia October 3, 2011
  • Glory in the Meeting House out on LP NOW July 27, 2011
  • Live in Floyd, it's Michael Chapman April 26, 2011
  • Back to the Cellar, with a new record April 6, 2011
  • shows with Hiss Golden Messenger, Hans Chew on the way January 9, 2011
  • Running the rapids of the Middle New River Valley November 17, 2010
  • No place like home September 29, 2010
  • Going across the sea... with a new album September 6, 2010
  • Go, Ralph, go! August 9, 2010
  • Rendered in the low key April 21, 2010
  • Floyd store Friday, Cellar Saturday February 25, 2010
  • Huge thanks, UK -- November 10, 2009
  • UK dates August 14, 2009
  • Floyd store dance June 24, 2009
  • Rose/Twigs LP is out! May 20, 2009
  • Playing Columbia, Mo., all weekend long February 24, 2009
  • This Saturday at the Cellar February 2, 2009
  • Thank you......and tonight in DC January 17, 2009
  • Shows with Charlie Parr this week January 11, 2009
  • House party with D. Charles Speer & the Helix this Thursday, Dec. 4 November 30, 2008
  • Live at Newport November 28, 2008
  • Friday jamboree in Floyd, plus upcoming October 20, 2008
  • Back from the Upper Midwest September 12, 2008
  • Thanks, everyone May 12, 2008
  • Charlie Parr/Black Twig weekend ahead May 4, 2008
  • Looking for shows in Belgium, Holland, Europe at large March 9, 2008
  • CD release party March 1, 2008
  • New CD! February 20, 2008
  • Calling Europe... January 17, 2008
  • Didn't we ramble December 4, 2007
  • Can't stay in the wagon yard November 26, 2007
  • Across the street from the store November 5, 2007
  • Square dancing via cell phone, and links, links links! October 22, 2007
  • Floyd jamboree tonight October 11, 2007
  • Thanks! October 8, 2007
  • Charlie Parr shows September 24, 2007
  • Farewell Dolphin hoot tonight (and Newport Fest tomorrow) August 31, 2007
  • Holy smokes; thank you, Vinton August 18, 2007
  • Shows Aug. 15, 17, 18 August 13, 2007
  • Live on YouTube June 15, 2007
  • Rasp of the board, thump of the tub: Mount Airy report from Nathan June 11, 2007
  • Weekend ramble June 5, 2007
  • Twigs show with special guests May 15, 2007
  • Back home and happy of it April 14, 2007
  • The call of asphalt and distant cups of coffee March 30, 2007
  • Still taking to airwaves -- just a week later; plus, Black Twig show at the Cellar March 5, 2007
  • A moment in time February 23, 2007
  • Tom's craziness on YouTube November 24, 2006
  • Is it all the same song... or does it just sound that way? October 26, 2006
  • Such a weekend August 7, 2006
  • Mount Airy report June 6, 2006
  • Thanks, Charlie! May 23, 2006
  • Black Twigs weekend May 18, 2006
  • Big doings this weekend and next May 12, 2006
  • Black Twigs on the air, Spiral Joy solstice December 16, 2005
  • Black Twigs Friday evening November 3, 2005
  • Sing Out! reviews Midnight Has Come And Gone September 20, 2005
  • Go, Ralph! August 3, 2005
  • Black Twigs on Friday, May 20 May 19, 2005
  • Black Twigs' New CD April 28, 2005
  • Pelt, Jack Rose, Black Twigs, MVEE, Christina Carter, more: on the road, new cdr, etc. July 15, 2004
  • Small seasonal hire
    Small yellow cat
    Small seasonal hire
    Small rough carpenters cover
    Small glory front
    Small parrtwigsglorycover
    Small rough carpenters cover
    Small koozie
    Small squirrel bmp
    Small eastmont syrup cover
    Small parrtwigcover
    Small irontospecialcover
    Small irontospecialcover
    Small rose twigs shooting creek
    Small rosetwigs lp cover
    Small jackdrragtime
    Small jacktwigs
    Small hobo handshake2
    Small 4
    Small 37
    Small 33
    Small 35
  • This album sounds raw and alive ... (The 405)
  • This album sounds raw and alive ... (The 405)
  • ... five spontaneous bursts of deep-folk-picking, fiddle and mouth harp action. (Q)
  • ... five spontaneous bursts of deep-folk-picking, fiddle and mouth harp action. (Q)
  • ... a common ground we might usefully term pscyhedelic Appalachian. (Uncut)
  • ... a common ground we might usefully term pscyhedelic Appalachian. (Uncut)
  • ... lets the dust fly, lets the grain show, but the songs are all the purer, all the sweeter, for their scuffs. (PopMatters)
  • ... lets the dust fly, lets the grain show, but the songs are all the purer, all the sweeter, for their scuffs. (PopMatters)
  • ... as much Miles Davis and Velvet Underground as Bill Monroe and Dock Boggs. (Relix)
  • ... as much Miles Davis and Velvet Underground as Bill Monroe and Dock Boggs. (Relix)
  • ... plug in to the ur-drone that undperins the modal melodies of innumerable folk songs. (The Wire)
  • ... plug in to the ur-drone that undperins the modal melodies of innumerable folk songs. (The Wire)
  • ... sounding simultaneously spontaneous and connected ... (Echoes and Dust)
  • ... sounding simultaneously spontaneous and connected ... (Echoes and Dust)
  • Twin talents operating on the outskirts of American folk music... (Clash)
  • Twin talents operating on the outskirts of American folk music... (Clash)
  • Gunn and The Black Twig Pickers are a perfect pairing. (Stereogum)
  • Gunn and The Black Twig Pickers are a perfect pairing. (Stereogum)
  • ... casually reinventing Appalachian raga. (Washington Post)
  • ... casually reinventing Appalachian raga. (Washington Post)
  • ... rusticosmic flow ... (Aquarium Drunkard)
  • ... rusticosmic flow ... (Aquarium Drunkard)
  • Rarely does losing your way sound so purposeful and inviting. (Pitchfork)
  • Rarely does losing your way sound so purposeful and inviting. (Pitchfork)
  • ... a strange alchemy that is a joy to visit again and again. (Glide)
  • ... a strange alchemy that is a joy to visit again and again. (Glide)
  • This is a record of pure energy and fervour. (Bopping)
  • This is a record of pure energy and fervour. (Bopping)
  • ... vibrant and enveloping, an old-time feat for these mercurial times. (Pitchfork)
  • A boisterous yelp here and there ... (A Closer Listen)
  • Old time country band music par excellence (Maverick)
  • ... one of the best groups in the whole contemporary scene, and it's their best album yet. (The Vinyl District)
  • From song to song, the energy and pure musicality is remarkable. (PopMatters)
  • ... a group sound that's as majestic as it is rooted in the soil. (Uncut)
  • ... the raga drones that hum alongside the whiskery traditionalism ... (Financial Times)
  • Rough Carpenters also finds these musicians at the top of their game ... (BBC)
  • ... foot-stomping mission music, perfect for the open road ... (Freq)
  • In a weird slight of turn, their old-time music has become contemporary. (Echoes and Dust)
  • ... you cannot mistake the territory of the Black Twig Pickers ... (Folk Radio UK)
  • Recorded live, these tracks possess a rare energy and magic ... (The List)
  • ... a head clearing, grin inducing, kicking, dancing victory over isolation and boredom. (SoundsXP)
  • Having a band still practicing this music in its rawest forms ... is simply a pleasure. (23 Beats Off)
  • The songs kick like mules. (Dusted)
  • Exuberant and joyful ... suggests an old form of American minimalism ... (BBC)
  • ... its length allows for subtle interplay and hypnotic depth ... (Foxy Digitalis)
  • ... one winding track continuously mixed for celebratory delirium ... (Freq)
  • Timeless rustic string music... (Dusty Groove America)
  • ... if this one doesn't make you tap your feet ... you really should check to see if your soul is intact (Nine Bullets)
  • ... top of the pile as far as modern Gospel goes. (Nine Bullets)
  • ... from dark haunting twang to old timey blues, from rollicking hoedown to mournful lament. (Aquarius)
  • Boston musician Glenn Jones shares the spotlight with Virginia backporch players The Black Twig Pickers and old school player Charlie Parr... (Hour Community)
  • One of the happiest surprises to manifest itself in vinyl form... (Chester Records)
  • Charlie Parr and the Black Twig Pickers are stomping the bellows and the flames are tickling heaven and the rafters beyond. (Hinter Ground)
  • ... as if everyone here joined up after a day's work to call it a day, sip some drink, and pick some spirituals ... (No Depression)
  • ... the spirit of true traditional American music. (No Depression)
  • ... an eeriness that at times has a slightly threatening otherwordly feel ... (American Roots UK)
  • The playing is amazing, a window into another world. (Sounds XP)
  • It's a masterpiece in what's all good about country/gospel/blues. (You Crazy Dreamers)
  • Music that stops you in your tracks is a revelation ... (Freq)
  • ... the elusive grail, the moment when the music and the musicians are one and the same ... (The Bluegrass Special)
  • ... steeping themselves in history doesn't dampen the impact of the music -- it magnifies it. (Pitchfork)
  • ... as genuine old-time as Uncle Dave Macon and yet are available by digital download ... (Country Standard Time)
  • Charlie Parr is a true master of this music and I suspect that the Black Twig Pickers will turn out to be the same. (American Roots UK)
  • Come on America, let's get back to community... Screw 'Dancing with the Stars!' (Work & Worry)
  • The Black Twig Pickers ... are just 80 years behind the times. (fRoots)
  • ... hold on to earth, mountain earth that I will one day return to, I hope. (Freq)
  • ... some of the best old-timey music around. (Magnet)
  • ... traditionalism that's never creaky ... (Dusty Groove)
  • ... alive, raw, and timeless ... (The Velvet Rut)
  • ... this is music that vigorously avoids gentrification. (Uncut)
  • Beautifully hand-rendered, Old Weird America folk. (Uncut)
  • ... a joyful celebration of a living, breathing musical form. (The Line of Best Fit)
  • ... a reminder that concepts of traditional versus contemporary ultimately become arbitrary and meaningless ... (Whisperinandhollerin)
  • ...classic hill country music, delivered with love and precision ... (Foxy Digitalis)
  • ...making their antique material current and vibrant. (Boomkat)
  • ... old-time music isn't just a quaint old thing but part of the fabric of their everyday lives... (Dusted)
  • Appalachian party-starters ... (Boomkat)
  • After settling down into his fold-up chair, Nathan Bowles convinces a receptive crowd to conquer their shyness and come closer to the stage. (The Skinny)
  • ... the kind of lively, unself-conscious simplicity too often in short supply amid the haste and clutter of modern living. (Mojo)
  • it’s hillbilly, it’s ragtime, it’s bluegrass, it’s rhythm, it’s blues, it’s the greatest bar-band you ever heard. (Cows are Just Food)
  • ... raw without courting a faux primitivism (Be Independent)
  • ... not trendy hipster anti-folk or a post-modern reworking of traditional sounds for a jaded and novelty-starved market. (Dreaded Press)
  • ... it's something of a shock to hear vocals on a Rose-related record. (Brainwashed)
  • The late November view from A.P. and Sara's headstones ... (Yeti)
  • ... archaic musical disciplines ... (Boomkat)
  • ... mighty mountain music indeed ... (Uncut)
  • ... some HOT tunes to melt your butter with. (American Primitive)
  • ... one of the most compelling no-nonsense folk albums of the year. (Dusted)
  • ... a gracious hand that never feels trite or contrived. (Foxy Digitalis)
  • ... breastfed on Jack Daniels ... (The Skinny)
  • This is a jug-swigging, toe-tapping, and uproarious album of Appalachian booty rap. (Other Music)
  • ... letting the night settle comfortably on all those within earshot. (Raven Sings the Blues)
  • ... from wild campfire old school blue grass hoedowns to more darkly contemplative folk explorations... (Aquarius Records)
  • ... a big fuck you to the gentrification (and homogenisation) of traditional American folk music. (Strangeglue)
  • ... one of southwest Virginia's best old-time acts, yet they might as well be playing balls-out boogie rock. (Strawberry Flats)
  • ... exciting old-time music at its finest. (Bluegrass Unlimited)
  • Another beautiful set of American Primitive, '00 style (Uncut)
  • ... fine purveyors of the mountain laments and sawdust shuffles ... (Dusted)
  • ... deeply rooted in the Ur-American music history, broken Country/blues/folk ... (Flight 13 Records)
  • I can just imagine folks going crazy and dancing around chucking ale and bourbon everywhere (Norman Records)
  • When I listen the brani me seem of being Burt Reynolds... (Il blog di Constantino della Gherardesca)
  • ... evoking a sound soaked in railroad gin ... (Boomkat)
  • ... from lush bluegrass ballads to sparse high lonesome tunes ... (Aquarius Records)
  • ... a hoedown that strays never far from the most primitive of roots, familial and earthbound. (Big Rock Candy Mountain)
  • ... a clear line between the real deal and the one most people thought was real (All Music Guide)
  • I fear today's old-time music listener has a double standard for judging performance quality. (Sing Out!)