Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Bluegrass with a twist. I am not usually drawn to traditional bluegrass music. I don’t usually find anything that holds my attention. Well MaW is the exception to the rule. This is bluegrass but they play with energy and their lyrics are humorous. They deliver their lyrics in a rather quirky way that makes it fun and a joy to listen to. This is the tagline for the band, “the old-timey band from Lawrence, KS, singing songs of murder, mules, mining, morphine, mayhem, mennonites, pirates, and chewing gum”. I don’t see anything missing from that list. I would add humour to that tagline somewhere because it seems like most of the songs are a bit tongue in cheek.
Who is Maw? I am glad you asked. MaW is made up of five rowdy women who like to have a good time and a hootenanny every now and again. This is definitely feel good, dancing music. Here is the lineup: Kit Cole – fiddle; Katie Conrad – mandolin, tenor banjo, vocals; Tracy Floreani – guitar, tenor guitar, vocals; Julie Schwarting – upright bass; and, Jeanie Wells – clawhammer banjo, guitar, vocals.
When it comes to humor, they seem to have the market cornered on that. Picklin’ Man (Track 4) is a song that may have a double meaning. It seems to be about a man who likes to preserve fruits and vegetables in vinegar, but there could be a double entendre here. That’s all I want to write about that. This song is entertaining and humorous. Also, very listenable. Do Re Me (Track 14) is a song about the cost of living in the promised land, also know as California. In conclusion, you need a lot of Do Re Me to live in Cali. Pretty clever, funny, and great vocals and playing. Mennonite Boys (Track 16) is a little less bluegrass and a little more pop. But it is still a very pleasurable listen. I don’t think I need to describe what this song is about. Pretty much self explanatory.
This release is 58 minutes long but it is a quick listen because all of the songs are so good. It makes the time go very fast. If you like The Evangenitals, you will really like MaW. If you have never heard of The Evangenitals, you will still like MaW. You have my word on it.