The Melting Point
295 E Dougherty Street
Athens, GA 30601
8:00 p.m. Friday, May 3, 2013
Packway Handle Band
- 18+ Show -
Packway Handle Band, since 2001 has been a fierce, tight-knit fighting force of Bluegrass. Upon forming, they stated hot and brought home plenty of hardware in the form of reader awards, band competitions, and favorable reviews. Their live show is frenzied, with the group whirling around two microphones, coming ever closer to blinding one another with their instruments in the chaos. Perhaps the best quote to sum up the experience of seeing Packway live is from a Jambase.com SXSW review: “This is how I like my bluegrass served up – dark and passionate, with a side of blood.” Catch them as part of our 19th Hole Music Series on Friday, May 3rd! The Red Oak Southern String Band is a Watkinsville/Athens, GA based acoustic music group that plays a mix of traditional bluegrass, folk and blues tunes as well more contemporary folk and blues music. The members of The Red Oak Southern String Band have played together for over 10 years. Our group of veteran musicians consists of two guitarists, Steve Pettis and Brian Foreman (formerly the Flint River Flat Pickers), Brian Drake a mandolin/harmonica player (who has played with the likes of Stewart and Winfield and Eric Culberson), Jeff Buckley a banjo player ( formerly of The Ohms, Kilgore Trout and Sweat Bee), Keith Weaver a bass player (formerly of Boscoe), Gretchen Pettis singer and guitarist (The Driftwood Band, Athens Creative Theater and the Athens Women's singing Circle), Andrew Heinerfeld on percussion and Eric Line on fiddle.
We have played such public venues as the Terrapin Brewery, the Athens Folk and Dance Societies' monthly HOOT at the Melting Point in Athens, The Art at the Rock Art Show at the 4H Center in Eatonton, The Railroad Arts District Art Show in Athens, The Jefferson Foliage Festival, The Oconee County Farmer's Market, Ashford Manor, The Green Room during Athfest, The Winterville Pavillion and many private events including weddings, birthday parties and anniversary parties. more >>> It all started in Athens, Georgia in 2001 during a most peculiar spell when 5 or 6bluegrass bands circulated the town. The famous Athens, which had once spawned the B-52s, REM, Widespread Panic, and countless other indie, pop and punk acts,was now the home to a competing minority of bluegrass players. The Packway Handle Band emerged from this small scene, finding national acclaim first as finalists at the Telluride bluegrass competition in 2002 and 2003, then taking 2nd place in 2004. The band’s 2003 debut album, “Chaff Harvest” was produced using prize awards from a local Battle of the Bands when they beat out 72 other rock bands for first place. PHB was on a roll and has continued to win over fans and rack up awards.In early 2006 the band went on the road full time, wowing audiences across the country with close 4-part harmonies and their dance around two tightly-spaced condenser mics. Packway Handle Band has emerged at the national forefront of bands that use a gather-around-the-mic style. Theirs is not a mission to preserve historical styles-- it's just how they do what they do the best. And what they do best is rooted in thought provoking songwriting, clever choice and arrangement of bluegrass traditionals, and totally unexpected (even totally inappropriate) covers, all delivered with a crackling energy. If you get an idea of what Packway Handle is early in a show, you’ll probably change your mind several times before they’re done.
The band now plays upward of 200 shows a year in the United States and in 2008 Packway embarked on an overseas tour to play the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland as well as a string of other dates throughout the UK, Belgium, Holland, and France. It's obvious their enthusiasm and sense of humor are honest, and that what they do appeals to broad audiences, even those who don't normally listen to bluegrass.You're not going to say you've heard this band before, unless you actually have. Since 2003 the band has released four full length albums and one live EP,the most recent album entitled, "What Are We Gonna Do Now?", was released in February 2010. Currently, the band is compiling live recordings for a Live Album.
"This is how I like my bluegrass served up – dark and passionate,with a side of blood." -jambase.com, Sarah Hagerman 3/20/10 SxSW review
"One thing is obvious to all: The Packway Handle Band is not your father’s bluegrass band.” – Bluegrass Now Magazine, Dave Higgs
"The Packway Handle Band mixes dark themes and old-time religion with a uniquely modern folk aesthetic that pins down just what American music is all about."– Splice Today, Z.N Lupetin
"Packway Handle's strength is in its cohesiveness. Vocal Harmonies and string syncopations lock together like Legos.…" – Aspen Daily News, Adam Preskill
"If you like Chatham County Line and/or The Avett Brothers, then you should catch this perpetually touring five-piece for a trad-absurdist experience delivered from exceptionally seasoned youths." – Flagpole Magazine, David Eduardo
2002-2008 consecutive Reader's Choice Flagpole Bluegrass
band/Americana band of the year awards
2002 4th place Telluride Folk & Bluegrass Festival band competition- Telluride, CO
2003 3rd place Telluride Folk & Bluegrass Festival band competition- Telluride, CO
2003 Winner Miller Light Battle of the Bands-- Athens, GA
2004 2nd place Telluride Folk & Bluegrass Festival band competition- Telluride, CO
2009 2nd place Rockygrass Bluegrass Festival band competition- Lyons, CO
2009 Winner Podunk Bluegrass Festival band competition- Hartford, CT more >>>