A couple months back, the fine mustachioed fellows of Busy Arms inspired me right back into blogging. And to return the favor, I decided to check them out at Kelley’s in Bradford. As I expected, they were great, but unexpectedly I also had my mind blown by their opening act, The Four Legged Faithful.
At first, I was thrown off a bit by their lineup. “An upright bass and a banjo?” I thought, “I am so not in the mood for bluegrass right now.”
But, as I soon realized, while The Four Legged Faithful categorize themselves as a “Folk/Americana/Bluegrass” band, they are more than just a sum of those parts. Made up of Haverhillian Matthew Migliori on guitar and dobro along with Nate Pelletier (banjo, suitcase), Jon Kaplan (mandolin), and Joey Piegrog (upright bass, tambourine), The Four Legged Faithful come together to create a sound that’s as free spirited and uniquely theirs as it is old-timey.
In fact, why not take a listen right now?
Ever since that fateful night, I’ve been toe-tapping along with their EP, Human Being Feeling, which sounds great for having been recorded in band-member-Joey’s basement. So, to make sure you’re all hip to the awesomeness, I hit the band up with some questions as they prepare for two back-to-back gigs in Haverhill this weekend.
HF: Lately there seems to be a resurgence of good, old-timey Americana music, though you guys have been at it a while. What made you decide to pick up banjos and mandolins?
FLF: I haven’t a clue as to why we play these silly instruments. We are a weird bunch- maybe its due to our influences and/or our desire to be different and play beautiful, interesting, and meaningful music with instruments that differ from most other bands.
HF: Since you’re in a folksy band, don’t you feel compelled to grow twisty moustaches? I mean, I know Matt has a beard, but…
FLF: Jon would grow if mustache if mother nature allowed him to do so. We all got beardy face.
HF: There has to be a story behind the band name “The Four Legged Faithful” right?
FLF: Our name comes from a description that a fan gave to us, that we sound like an animal in gallop. We used to be “The Shuck N Jives” but we wanted to change our name to something else. The idea is that each of us are a leg of a galloping animal.
HF: Who are your musical influences?
FLF: We have a broad range of influences: The Grateful Dead, Fleet Foxes, The Band, Mimi & Richard Farina, Alash, CSN, Midlake, Zappa, Any/all roots reggae, Old & In the Way, Garcia Grisman, Tool, White Denim, The Parkington Sisters, King Wilkie, etc
HF: Who would win in a fight – The Soggy Bottom Boys or Emmet Otter’s Jug Band?
FLF: We actually don’t really listen to Bluegrass. We aim not to play bluegrass but to play beautiful music with traditional bluegrass instruments. Authentic bluegrass is near perfect melodies and furious picking – we are far from perfect and we embrace it by steering clear from traditional bluegrass. We would really suck if we tried to do what “authentic” bluegrass bands do. (Editor’s note: this answer marked a sad moment for yours truly, having realized what I thought was a totally witty pop culture reference didn’t even register on these guys because I AM NOW OLD APPARENTLY.)
HF: What else do you guys do when you’re not shuckin’ and jivin’?
FLF: We enjoy many leisure activities. Joey is involved in many other musical projects including his rock brain child called “Might”. Matt runs marathons and plays guitar for Merrimack Delta Dub Set. Nate likes hip hop dancing and doing yard work. Jon shoot baskets and sit on couches.
You can check out the (it turns out not-soggily-bottomed) boys tonight at Kelley’s in Bradford, and while you’re there see the band for tickets to tomorrow night’s Old School Freak Out! at the Chit Chat Lounge. The event, which promises to be “an underground art scene explosion” where “the entire mood will be built to feed your brain” is likely to sell out, but seems way too cool to miss, so get your mitts on some tickets!
Busy this weekend? The Four Legged Faithful will be back at the Chit Chat for two more gigs in February and March, so keep your eyes peeled and your moustaches waxed ’til it’s time for more shuckin’ and jivin’.