Will Stockwell, Stringtown Pickers, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Tecumseh Flyers
Thursday, Jan. 4
It was the Melody Inn on a Thursday — a spot claimed by Will Stockwell and his honky- tonk. On this night, in addition to Stockwell, there were the Tecumseh Flyers, the Stringtown Pickers and, all the way from Ohio, the Rumpke Mountain Boys. No punk. No bull pit, just some old-fashioned hillbilly music.
After the standard Stockwell performance, the Tecumseh Flyers took the stage to show everyone some down-home, easy-going bluegrass. Tecumseh Flyers, the result of a collaboration between two best friends (Jason Hathaway and Steve Guichelaar), invoked images of jug wine, summertime and pipe smoke. Originating in Terre Haute, Ind., they are quickly taking root in Indy, carving out a permanent spot for themselves at the Melody Inn the first Thursday of every month.
Immediately following the Flyers were locals the Stringtown Pickers. Having played together for six years and shared members with the Spud Puppies, they know their way around a bluegrass tune. The Pickers plucked at their instruments with a ferocity that the devil himself could not match. As they intoned about angels inside the pearly gates and how reality is for people who can’t handle beer, it hit the crowd like bricks. Their music will either pave the way to salvation or lead your soul to where the weather’s a bit warmer.
The Rumpke Mountain Boys, an award-winning, trash-grass band from “Cincinasty,” brought bluegrass to a level that combined jazz, jam and adrenaline. “We’re obnoxious, and we’re far from traditional,” they said. Named after the highest point in Cincinnati (literally, a trash heap), the Rumpke Mountain Boys got everyone revved up and dancing with their unique brand of rowdy songs. Performing originals and covers by musicians from Bob Dylan to Primus, they were traditional enough to be called bluegrass, but had a strong enough contemporary edge to make them fresh and relevant.