The Black Twig Pickers take it to the dance floor on Whompyjawed, offering long-form, highly rhythmic and deeply layered takes on traditional fiddle and banjo music. Joined by some of the musicians who frequent the Southwest Virginia square dance and flatfooting scene -- fiddler Sally Morgan, and bassist/guitarists Sam Linkous and Joe Dejarnette -- and by accomplished feet-percussionists Jen Barton, Kim Kirkbride and Charlie Anderson, the Twigs work up propulsive and mesmerizing versions of two side-long songs. "Merry Mountain Hoedown" is an old-time rocker with Mike Gangloff and Sally Morgan's duo fiddles sawing atop a careening bed of pounding feet and furiously locked-in banjo, guitars and bass, while "Brushy Fork of John's Creek," with Sally fiddling and Mike banjo-ing, wanders more spectral -- but no less ferocious -- territory, with Nathan Bowles' washboard and Isak Howell's guitar and mouth harp guiding a long and shifting mix of clattering drone. The Skillet Lickers meet Faust IV?
Cover art is by Sally. Recording is by Joebass. Mix is by Jason Meagher. Mastering is by Harris Newman. Note that like all our Thrill Jockey releases, this record comes with a download code. If you're interested only in a download mp3 version of Whompyjawed, please check here. And if you're interested in a koozie with the Whompyjawed squirrel, check here.