CD Review: The Shadies

The Shadies
Cuttin’ At the Point

Since 2011, The Shadies (which features members of the Gallus Brothers and Rattletrap Ruckus) have plied their bluegrass trade throughout the Northwest. Their most recent effort, Cuttin’ At the Point, is everything the avid old-timey music lover looks for; tight musical arrangements, twangy harmonies, and lyrics whose subjects range from booze, to dogs, farming, and life’s ups and downs.
The first song to really grab attention is “Polecat Blues.”  The song moves at a rollicking pace, setting up the barn burner jam vibe of the rest of the album. For the bluegrass music nerd The Shadies lift the melody from Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Tear It Down” and make it their own on “Hawkins Rag,” that showcases the deft fiddling abilities of Devin Champlin. The following track “Bugger Burns” offers the album the best bar-room sing along opportunity with catchy lyrics and a memorable chorus.  Other noteworthy tracks include, “900 Miles” (which brings down the house with standout clawhammer banjo and runs on the harmonica) and the post whiskey-soak album closer “Sick Sober and Sorry.”
To identify the weakness in Cuttin’ At the Point, is also to identify its strength.  The Shadies stay in their comfort zone and create the music they do best.  They don’t push any boundaries. Anyone who doesn’t have a deep appreciation for bluegrass or folk may skip over this record. But despite its adherence to the standards of the old-timey genre, this album has much to offer any music lover.
–Garrett Hendricks