The Shoal Creek Stranglers

“The Shoal Creek Stranglers — featured a sound that was antiquated in the best sense of the word. They reminded me of Woody Guthrie … or, better yet, Peter, Paul and Mary singing Woody Guthrie songs. In reality, their folk song repertoire is made of songs all of the greats have written, or more often covered themselves: Doc Watson, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Joan Baez and the rest. Songs like “Freight Train, Freight Train,” “Death Don’t Have No Mercy,” and “Blue Ridge Mountain Blues” have a far-stretching history. They even threw in a Ray Stevens novelty song about a squirrel going berserk in a Mississippi church. Yup, they had it all. [they] have a full sound that feels bigger than the two men onstage. Zeke Sayer picks his guitar, and Matthew Garrison plucks his bass. It’s simple, it’s sentimental, and it’s inexhaustible.”

MARK ELLERS / Athens Banner Herald