I’ll be honest, I’ve heard the name Old Man Markley in the past but nothing about the name inspired me to do more than nod, smile and promptly forget the name. Then the other night I read a blurb about them that described them as “punk bluegrass” and that, along with the title of their new album, Guts N’ Teeth, was enough to get me to remember the name and pick up the cd the next time I was on AmazonMP3.
We’ve had a pretty constant migration of musicians leaving their fields of punk for the pastures of Americana, and for L.A. punk scene veterans Old Man Markley it seems they prefer their fields with a bluer hue. From what I can gather (it’s not made especially clear), Old Man Markley is a combination of people from various punk bands and some bluegrass players from in and around L.A. who’ve been together for a few years and just released their second album, Guts N’ Teeth.
Personally, I was sold on the album after one listen and was typing this by the third pass. The band does a really good job of fusing punk (rock?) and bluegrass together in a way that makes it difficult to label it. It’s too loud and the drums are too “big” for a string band, despite the bluegrass feel. There are too many instruments (washboard, hamonica, mandolin) for a rock band, despite the rock bridges and structures. Perhaps it’s a new genre. We could call it Crossovergrass? Either way, I love it and for ninebullets, I am calling it Essential Listening.