Dubl Handi does everything exactly right on their debut album Up Like The Clouds. The name is pronounced like double handy and takes its name from a washboard company dating back to the 1800’s. Dubl Handi is a folk/traditional duo based in Brooklyn. Banjo is the most prominent instrument but Dubl Handi uses a pile of them to recreate the mostly traditional songs on Up Like The Clouds.
Each of the 15 songs here sound fresh though all but three were written in a by gone time but what attracts me most to Dubl Handi is their willingness to let the rough edges show. Especially with this style of music nothing drives me crazier than super polished playing and singing. Hilary Hawke has a sensational voice that is just rough enough to keep me interested. If you’re at all a fan of this type of music you must give Dubl Handi’s Up Like The Clouds a listen. It is Essential Listening and great driving music on the way to an afternoon in mother nature.
PS: A possible topic of conversation for the comments. Dubl Handi plays a very similar style to Spirit Family Reunion. In the biographical information for both bands they only mention Brooklyn as a place of origin, yet both bands’ music is deeply rooted in the Appalachian tradition. My thought is that both bands approach their music in an intellectual way and that somehow living in an urban environment has no influence. Yet there are a multitude of actual southerners make ‘country’ music though they run as far away from anything rural (other than mentioning a pick-up) in their musical approach. Feel free to discuss.