Whistle Pigs bring bluegrass to Cavern ClubWritten by Joel Sensenig | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
You wouldn’t expect a band that gets its name from a woodchuck to be all that worried about getting the rock-star treatment on the road.
In the case of country-meets-bluegrass-meets-rockabilly band the Whistle Pigs, this assumption would be correct. These southern Illinois boys just hope the price of gasoline stays below the $3 mark.
“We’ve got a smaller van, so it’s a little better on gas money,” said Joe McCamish, lead vocalist and banjo man for the Whistle Pigs, which rolls into Ann Arbor’s Cavern Club Nov. 17.
Not that anyone’s complaining about the modest road accommodations. “We live better on the road than we do at home,” McCamish said. “We were born to travel. We’ve got the system down — we load in, we charm the bartender and get free drinks. We’ll sleep anywhere, eat whatever. Anything to make this happen, you know?”
Since forming in the college town of Carbondale, Illinois several years ago, the band featuring banjo, fiddle, upright bass, washboard and accordian has released three albums and toured extensively throughout the Midwest. Their latest offering, “Bless Your Hearts and Livers,” released on the Mudstomp label, added pedal steel and dobro to the band’s sound. It was recorded at the Sound Kitchen in Nashville, Tenn.
The Whistle Pigs does not shy away from its rural roots, often using the term “hillbilly” whenever they can.
“We just felt the terms ‘country’ and ‘bluegrass’ got too big,” McCamish said. “We feel ‘hillbilly’ is more back to the roots of what we’re trying to do.”
When this band of hillbillies invades Ann Arbor, McCamish said fans should expect to get their groove on.
“It’s a high-energy show,” he said. “We love to entertain, and do a bit of banter onstage. There’s always a lot of dancing at our shows. It’s a good time, an old-time feel.”
Doors open at 8 p.m. for the all-ages show. The Cavern Club is located at 210 S. First St., Ann Arbor.
For more information, call (734) 332-9900 or visit www.cavernclubannarbor.com.