Hot Days (Album review) and Appalachian Still

Hot Days (2006)

Always expect energy when you listen to a Poitin album.  These guys always deliver goods with gusto. Hot Days is an album that looks the way it sounds (note the chili pepper red cover that screams hot hot hot!). The introduction of the didgeridoo and the soprano sax are pleasant surprises.  The album has everything that jumps and grabs you from behind.

Step It Out has Jeremy King’s superb vocals. Precision and tight musicianship are the things the band is known for.

For to Free. Wowwowow! The didgeridoo addition here is something I truly dig.  It is the right ingredient to the track! It makes you feel like you are in Australia, wearing a kilt and jumping with kangaroos. It begins with this ambient sound of an old vinyl record    being touched by a needle.

Who Are You is a fast traditional song. Every nuance is captured in the recording. The crisp vocals and resonant fiddle jive together with the fiery guitar strums. This song makes me feel like a young man ready for action.

Springtime Frolics is a track I can sum up in one word: stunning. These guys record their albums live. Such precision is not easy to master. I read somewhere that they would do it over again if ever something goes wrong. It’s like me writing this review, having a lot of re-editing to do when the grammar goes wrong wink wink.

Crazy Man Michael starts a capella and then blossoms with a guitar. It is a great title track. It sings about a tragic incident. You know, I read that if you have some Irish in you, then you will understand that the more painful the song is, the more the singing gets better. With its bare arrangement, the vocals gain the dramatic effect making it one of the most memorable singing styles I have heard in years.

Hot Days is a track which begins with both the high and low whistles fencing each other tenderly. The mournful notes progress into a beautiful track with rich arrangements and incandescent beauty which calls to mind a phoenix rising from its ashes. The second half of the track jumps into a jig with an explosive chorus of other instruments.

Midsomer is an energetic traditional track that won’t let you stop tapping your feet.

A Bucket Full of Mountain Dew is another traditional track with fast singing.  There are amazing vocal harmonies and a beautiful melody.

March Flowers is a jazzy jig which begins with the acoustic guitar, then the whistle and then other instruments join in. It has this swaying rhythm to it. It makes you think of seaside and relaxing afternoons. I noticed that there is a consistency of clean recordings all throughout the album.

For to Free really frolics into your mood and into your subconscious.

I Was A Young Man is a fast ballad about coming of age. There is great bodhran playing on top of the fiddling. The didgeridoo encapsulates the track like fine moth’s wings. It’s awesome!

Saxet is a jazzy traditional track with a vibe that smells of beer and chips. It is also a sexy track.

Curragh of Kildare ends the track with its amazing fiddling. Hot Days is an album that makes you realize that some very talented Irish music players are also found in the Czech Republic. This is world music at its finest. You can buy Hot Days here:



Get to know Appalachian Still

Guys who are into Bluegrass and anything Americana might want to get themselves ensnared by the music of these six guys bringing you nothing but the freshness of homegrown freshly brewed American music. The  good vibes of Bluegrass and Country music have made their way into my chest and now my head is moving back and forth while listening to tracks like Deep Ellum Blues and I Know You Rider. The band, Appalachian Still, is from Northampton Massachusetts and they have been around since 2005. Bring on the croissants, this is going to be a great day! Just give them a chance and who knows? You might get hooked, head over feet.


Andrew Woodland: Clawhammer Banjo, Vocals & Management
Jared Libby: Guitar, Vocals, Recording & Engineering
Sean Mallari Upright Bass
Sam Barnes: Fiddle
Ivan Ussach: Drums/Percussion
Peter Nabut: Sound-Man



One thought on “Hot Days (Album review) and Appalachian Still

  1. Pingback: Ash « Smeets Music

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