Slack Press

Richmond Music Journal , June 2003

Slack Family “Pickin’ Up the Slack” (Planetary) "What's gonna happen to the old times, when the new times come along?" The Slack Family asks that question in their cover of "Purple Valley Blues." On their new CD "pickin' up the slack"(my vote for best title of the year), you'll find the answer.

The Slack Family pays homage to the "old times" with classic covers like "Purple Valley Blues," "Theme Time," and "Play Dixie for Me" done traditionally. True grass.

For the "new times" there's new grass. Joe Wharff (lead vocals, guitar) has written a couple of gems. "Like a Train" is hip-shaking bluegrass like Elvis doing "Blue Moon of Kentucky."

I was once told by a church lady at the Galax Fiddler's convention that you're not supposed to dance to gospel-but The Slack Family kicked the slower paced "Shout out" into high gear for the last chorus and lead me into temptation!

There are some excellent musicians here: Andy Burns on mandolin and tenor vocals, Nick Harlow, banjo, Jim Skelding, fiddle, and Brian Sulser, bass fiddle and baritone vocals. It'd be a great treat for me to hear them do more true bluegrass, but the new times have come along.

-Walter Boelt

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