erasing clouds

Flash Hawk Parlor Ensemble, Plastic Bag in a Tree

reviewed by dave heaton

Flash Hawk Parlor Ensemble is a space-bluegrass (you know, like 'space rock' but down-home bluegrass-style) 'supergroup' brought together by the Decemberists' affable multi-instrumentalist Chris Funk. 'Super' not because of celebrity status, but because of the group's size (15, if you count pets) and the unusual circumstances under which it formed Funk moves to a new neighborhood, realizes many of his neighbors are musicians, and invites them over for jam sessions. 'Super' too for the freshness of this whole endeavor. Not just the fun covers of unlikely candidates Massive Attack, Amnesiac-era Radiohead, the Kinks and Fleetwood Mac but how unique both those and the originals are. These may be 'jams', but directed towards a fresh new/old style. They're playing around with instruments Funk alone plays everything from moog to hurdy gurdy but also with genres. An old-fashioned, rustic vibe is just as strong as a forward-to-the-future one (moog never hurts in that regard). One hell of a party.


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