|Packway Handle Band
Hometown: Athens, GA
Web site: http://www.packwayhandle.com
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Originating in Athens, Georgia in 2001, the Packway Handle Band is a solid and innovative bluegrass quintet. The band’s appeal lies rooted in tight three- and four-part vocal harmonies, extensive and progressive original material, off-the-wall covers, and energetic performance dynamics around two tightly spaced condenser mics. Fans of the band include bluegrass traditionalists and those who say they “usually don’t like bluegrass.”
Over the course of PHB’s four year history, they have been recognized both regionally and nationally. In 2003, they won the Athens hosting of the Miller Lite “Locals Only” Battle of the Bands, besting 72 rock bands with an energetic, single-mic performance. They were finalists three consecutive years in the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition and have been voted Athens’ Best Bluegrass Band four years running in the readers’ choice Flagpole Music Awards.
In January 2004, PHB released their debut album Chaff Harvest, which features some of the band’s creative, early songwriting. According to the Southeastern Bluegrass Association, “this is not a recording for those who would like bluegrass to remain frozen in 1953….‘Chaff Harvest' is a welcome breath of fresh air from an innovative band that shows even more promise for the future.” September 2005 witnessed the release of PHB most recent album, (Sinner) You Better Get Ready - a collection of traditional gospel tunes, some haunting tunes about the end of the world, and an arrangement of Madonna’s “Like A Prayer.” (Sinner) was voted one of the Top Ten Albums to come out of Athens, GA in 2005 by the readers of Flagpole Magazine.
The Packway Handle Band has toured widely and shared the stage with many great musicians including Ralph Stanley, Yonder Mountain String Band, Darol Anger, Donna The Buffalo, Benevento/Russo Duo, Darrell Scott, Larry Keel, The Codetalkers, Hot Buttered Rum String Band, Jeff Austin and Chris Castino, The Mammals, The Avett Brothers, Pete "Dr. Banjo" Wenick, and Confederate Railroad. The young, talented members of this up-and-coming band aspire to bring their unique brand of American folk music to new audiences around the world, living up to one reviewer’s prediction that they “grow musically and become a staple name on the big Bluegrass circuit” (JigTime 2/04).
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