Wow. It has been too damned long since we wrote about The Fox Hunt here on ninebullets. Matter of fact, last time I wrote about them I was crowning their album, Nowhere Bound, album of the year for 2007. Well, it is with great pleasure that I write that in the Y2K+9 The Fox Hunt are back with not one, but two albums. Here in Feb we’re gonna see an album of traditional covers, America’s Working So We Don’t Have To, and sometime around September we’re gonna get a new album of Fox Hunt originals. I am chewing at the bit for the new album of originals, but today we’re here to talk about their current release of traditional covers in America’s Working So We Don’t Have To.
Back when I wrote about The Fox Hunt for the first time I described them as such; “Somewhere on the highway between Drag the River and Lucero, there is an exit with a dive bar. The Fox Hunt, out of Martinsburg, West Virginia, is that bar’s house band.” With America’s Working the band moves from the midnight dive bar to an afternoon at the county fair with a seamless perfection. Adding to the county fair feel of this album is the fact that this album was recorded live to analog tape with no over dubs or do overs.
The album features the band’s take on 12 traditional Appalachian songs the band grew up listening to in their hometowns in Virgina, West Virginia and Kentucky. As a whole, the album really feels like it could serve as a Volume 2 of the Cold Mountain soundtrack. If, like me, that’s something that sounds good to you, then America’s Working So We Don’t Have To most certainly serves as Essential Listening.
Equally as impressive as the music of this album is it’s packaging. Featuring some phenomenal illustrations by Eric Losh, there is also a track by track narrative of each song with a brief history of the tune and a sentence or two on why it was selected for this album. It’s that kind of effort and attention to detail that affirms my 2007 opinion that these guys are simply on another level than the average unsigned band. Check ’em out and, like me, start counting the days until September.