This motley bunch from Austin, Texas are very loose followers of the Bluegrass tradition who bend the roots of the genre to the point that the term "trashgrass" is a more accurate description.
Their crowdfunded fifth album consists of thirteen songs with varying degrees of manicness. This includes two covers: a frenzied version of The Cure's Friday I'm In Love and a more restrained reading of Daniel Johnston's True Love (Will Find You In The End). It all feels a long way from the Appalachian Mountains.
The irreverent punk energy is good-spirited though and means that even heavy themes of work, pain, sin, regret and death get to be treated with a lightness of touch. The cover art of skeletons dancing around a camp fire is a good barometer of the band's devil-may-care philosophy.
The full line-up of the band consists of Bobby Fitzgerald (vocals, fiddle), Andrew VanVoorhees (bass, vocals), James Gwyn (washboards), Jeff “Horti” Hortillosa (vocals, guitar) and James Bookert (banjo).
They may be in their own headspace but they are far from blind to the state of the world right now. "We're all going through shit all the time. We recognize that life's tough", says frontman and 'fiddle master' Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald explains that the aim of their live shows is not to bring people down but to get them up and dancing: "We try to bring everybody into the moment and get them to realize there's no wall between us and the crowd”.
Fuck You "and the horse you rode in on" is an example of their plain talking, Long Gone epitomizes the manic cowboy rhythms and the frenetic No Pity In The Rose City is an indicator of what happens when they get properly warmed up.
In contrast, the more subdued Liquor, Beer, Wine & Ice offers some practical advice on how to survive in a one horse town.
Whiskey Shivers are primarily a party band and although they don't take themselves too seriously there is method in their madness.
Whisky Shivers' website