MusicRecord Reviews

The Hobohemians: It’s The Hobohemians

Even if it doesn’t totally rock your boat—and it probably won’t—the playful proto-jazz of local folk supergroup The Hobohemians is at least guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Under the leadership of singer Susan Staley, the Athens stalwart responsible for the Athens Folk Music and Dance Society’s monthly Hoot, the group co-opts the music of the early part of the 20th century and (just barely) sharpens its lyrical edge.

It’s family-friendly stuff, foremost, and like much of the old-timey tunes that inspire the band, here winking innuendos are cloaked in playful, charismatic musicality; opener “Pass the Water Bottle Baby” might be the cheeriest recollection of a hangover ever committed to tape.

Staley and the rest of the band, which includes well-known members of groups like String Theory, The North Georgia Bluegrass Band and The Knockouts, are virtuosic players well versed in decades of roots music. It’s the band’s most basic strength, and the reason why jaunty, lightweight songs like “Mississippi Mud” are worth a few minutes of your time.

The Hobohemians celebrate their CD release with the Hobo Review, a benefit for the homeless, on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Little Kings Shuffle Club.


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