- Artist: Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy
- Album: Hatchetations (2013)
- Purchased at: Live show at First Ward (St. Joseph, MO) for $15
Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy is a band that works their asses off. They are road warriors living out of vans and chasing a dream at all costs. They’ve become nationally known by simply hitting the road and have managed to build a following. When they stopped at the First Ward House on a Sunday night they actually drew a decent crowd given the circumstances. Sundays are always tough; Sundays in St. Joseph are extremely tough.
As it turns out, what motivated me getting out of the house to see the band on a Sunday was largely the fact that I knew they would be selling vinyl. They didn’t disappoint, carrying two different releases on vinyl. One was on colored but I opted for the newer of the two albums instead. “Hatchetations” had a cool cover and after taking a peek at a friend’s copy they just bought, I decided I needed one as well. As an added bonus I would later find out that the digital download card unlocked a couple extra songs not on the record and a complete split album they did with a band named Cletus Got Shot.
The group is best described as bluegrass but a solid horn section gives them a New Orleans vibe at times. On most songs they show their Split Lip Rayfield influence and succumb to speed bluegrass, which tends to wear thin quickly. The Speakeasy is clearly at their best when sticking to mid-tempos and letting the horns sooth the spaces in the songs. Songs like “Promised Land” hit the speed-grass nail on the head while more jazzy numbers like “At Least It Fits You” give the listener a nice break from the assault.