Bluegrass Unlimited - The Rubber Knife Gang - Drivin' OnTHE RUBBER KNIFE GANG
DRIVIN’ ON
No Label
No Number

Hailing from the Cincinnati area, the Rubber Knife Gang inhabits that familiar territory somewhere between bluegrass and folk music with a little bit of Celtic flavor added. Hank Becker (guitar), John Oaks (upright bass), and Todd Wilson (mandolin) interchange vocal duties and take turns adding banjo to a few, and dulcimer to one, of the 14 tracks that span a generous 46 minutes.

This reviewer is indeed prejudiced in favor of the instrument, but the handful of banjo tracks—the driving “She’s My Only One,” the fiddle dance of “Hole In Your Soul,” and the groovy “Drink Up John”—are among the best of this entertaining lot of original compositions. The sole non-original number is a smart take on Billy Joel’s “Travelin’ Prayer,” also a banjo track with smooth guitar breaks and great rhythm.

Most of the rest of the tracks are fun listens well-suited to the pub environment in which this musical gang has operated. “Praise The Lord, Pass The Weed” is a light-hearted ditty about sharing some of nature’s bounty and is likely to gain the band some followers once it is more widely known. (myspace.com/therubberknifegangband) AKH