Trail Mix: Thanksgiving With the Hackensaw Boys

It is a well known and accepted rule that, on one’s birthday, one should be allowed to sleep in, particularly if one’s birthday falls on a day off from work.

My nearly three year old daughter, Lindsay, doesn’t give a damn about said rule.

Today marks the end of my 41st trip around the sun. I held out hope that my eyes wouldn’t be opened until after the 7 o’clock hour. A frivolous birthday wish, for sure, but parents of toddlers will understand my longing. Lindsay, bright eyed and bushy tailed, bounded into our room at 5:45 and, now, here we sit, me with a cup of coffee as I bang out this blog entry while she watches some Caillou in our sunroom.

Happy birthday to me!

This birthday has begun somewhat auspiciously. My family should be waking up in Charlottesville, not here in Wise, as we were supposed to head up to visit my wife’s family for Thanksgiving yesterday evening. A particularly aggressive stomach bug and some snowy weather have delayed our travel plans – I don’t think we will get to Charlottesville until tomorrow – but good times await us once we arrive.

Of course, I am looking forward to a fantastic meal with my family tomorrow. Our annual exercise in gluttony is always much anticipated.

Also on my radar will be Friday night’s show at The Jefferson Theater with The Hackensaw Boys and Chamomile & Whiskey.

The Hackensaw Boys have long been one of my favorite bands to germinate in Charlottesville. I can remember buying their first record, Get Some, on a whim at the old Plan 9 store on 29 North.  I can remember the first time I saw them live at Starr Hill Music Hall. I remember being amused by the notion, seemingly, that if one played an acoustic instrument and called Charlottesville home, you could take on a folksy nickname and be a Hackensaw Boy your own self.

Most distinctly, I remember the release party for the band’s second record, Keep It Simple. Hundreds of fans packed Starr Hill Music Hall and at least a dozen Hackensaw Boys took the stage. The energy was through the roof and the manic crowd was dancing so hard that the floor of the venue felt like it was going to give way. There were times during the show that I fully expected to end up in the lap of a dining guest downstairs; that I questioned the building’s structural integrity that night puts it mildly.

While the cast of The Hackensaw Boys has remained pliable over the last 15 or so years, the band is still hard at it, churning our their frenetic, rough around the edges take on old time music. The band has cranked our four studio albums, two EPs and, this year, released For The Love Of A Friend, their first live record.

The Hackensaw Boys sound as good as ever. Considering the holiday at hand, for that I am thankful.

Joining the Hackensaws on the bill is one of Charlottesville’s up and coming bands, Chamomile & Whiskey.  This band has been on my radar for some time; they have made the trip out here to Wise to play, though I was unable to see them, and we have featured them on Trail Mix. They were even joined by some good friends of mine in Folk Soul Revival – a band with Wise County roots – at a Fridays After Five show this summer.  I am happy to be able to catch them live for the first time.

In keeping with my birthday spirit, I have a gift for you. I’d like for you to be able to see Friday’s show at The Jefferson Theater. All you have to do is take a shot at the trivia question below and email your answer to me at [email protected].  A winner of two tickets to the show will be chosen from all correct answers received by 5:00 today.

Good luck, and have a happy Thanksgiving.

Question – The Hackensaw Boys began their musical career banging out old time tunes at what West Main Street lunar greasy spoon?


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