Live Music Reviews

The Black Twig Pickers @ Cafe Kino, Bristol 26.04.12

Reviewed for Bearded Magazine

Sadly, too few are present to witness tonight’s trio of talent from Virginia, and Bearded only hope there are enough to help the awesome Kino crew break even. Damp weather plays havoc with ticket sales, and with string tension, but rarely with the morale of those that do turn up, and credit is due to musicians and attendees alike for making this event a success.

Talent comes in many forms. We’ve seen the Black Twig Pickers described as an old-time Crazy Horse and this goes a long way to describing their supreme natural talent; they are ‘feel’ players, and it’s through that ‘feel’ that the feeling of these old-time Virginia songs and tunes is best conveyed, and felt most. Nathan Bowles takes to the stage first for a set of banjo tunes, some penned by others (Charlie Parr, Jack Rose . . . friends, fallen comrades) he plays these with a good deal of self-expression and confidence. The original numbers highlight an inventive streak, and show off his instrument’s under-appreciated versatility, for the banjo has the ability to cross mood and genre boundaries if handled correctly. Read more . . .