After my writing deadline passed, I learned from Mike Gangloff (via Jonathan at Thrill Jockey) that Whompyjawed is"a local term that means ramshackle or off-kilter. Local synonyms include catawumpus (or cattywhompuss) and sigoogly." So I just had to share that.
My review runs today at Dusted.
The Black Twig Pickers
“Brushy Fork of John’s Creek” squeals to life in a sawing fiddle riff, its Appalachian lilt undergirded with the hard punch of hands on wood, the thump of feet on floors. The song, which dates to the Civil War era, hurtles forward with fresh, unruly life. At this speed, intricate patterns form and unform as whorls of fiddle, plunks of banjo and scratchy scrapes of washboard intersect. Yet, the sense of joy, of celebration, of dance overwhelms the complexity. As the tune gets going, the players cannot suppress their hoots and “yeahs.”
The Black Twigs Pickers — primarily Mike Gangloff, Nathan Bowles and Isak Howell — have been breathing fresh air into archival material for about a decade now, both in their core trio formation, and augmented by like-minded musicians, including Jack Rose and Charlie Parr. On this EP, they are joined by some frequent live collaborators — fiddler Sally Morgan and Sam Linkous and Joe Dejarnette switching between guitar and bass.