The Prickers, The Unknown Woodsmen
5863 Thompson Rd.
Syracuse, NY, 13214
This event is all ages
Since 2007, American Babies has been the mouthpiece for Philadelphia based musician Tom Hamilton. After spending the early 2000s building a national fan base fronting the electro-rock band Brothers Past, releasing two critically acclaimed albums, and averaging 150 shows a year, a change was in order. "Musically, I wanted to get back to the basics" he explains, "Get the song right, first. Then worry about the live show and how the music opens up from there."
Hamilton went back to his roots, rediscovering the Outlaw Country, Motown, and Grateful Dead records he grew up with, and assembled a pool of musicians to pull from for recording sessions and live performances. After two full-length LPs, an EP, and three years of touring, the American Babies are hitting their stride. The live band has been solidified with David Butler (Lee "Scratch" Perry) on drums, Adam Flicker (The Brakes) on keys, and Nick Bockrath (Nico's Gun) on bass. The band has shared the bill with numerous like minded acts such as Derek Trucks, Sheryl Crow, Umphrey's McGee, Railroad Earth, and The National to name a few.
Hamilton entered a Philadelphia studio in January of 2013 to start work on what has become the Babies' third long-player "Knives and Teeth" (via The Royal Potato Family). When asked to describe his new record, his answer is short and compact but, like his lyrics, is loaded with deeper meaning: "It's a 40-minute existential meltdown."
"When you're in your 20's," he says, "you worry or focus on things that don't seem to maintain their importance as you get older. Chicks, partying, finding a place. Shit, all of my albums back then were about girls, in one way or another. Then you grow up and you realize none of it actually matters, so you dig deeper. I spent a lot of time with some activist friends and the Occupy movement. That pushed some buttons but, I kept digging. Then I had a couple of close friends pass away within a few months of each other and that made me really dig in. I started to think about my own mortality. Reconsidering what was really important to me."
Throughout the course of the album, from the Lou Reed-inspired "This Thing Ain't Going Nowheres" to the inspired punk energy of "Bullseye Blues" to the head-shaking acceptance of "Goddamn," Knives & Teeth speaks of fragility, cruelty, frustration, and the search for what makes a life worth living.
Tom and company will be taking American Babies' re-energized live show back to the road this fall, and all through 2014.
The Prickers sound is a collision of marching band brass, back porch banjo frailing, burning boots kickin’, old-skool hip-hop kick drum thumpin’, saloon ragtime piano pounding, guitar strumming and lyrical song writing that the band has recently coined “Cluster Folk”. The music has roots in every corner of the musical garden…no stone is left unturned. The band like its namesake can be a tangled wall of sound one moment and a delicately complex form the next. The songs are haunting at times, drawing from life’s curved roads, meandering and pondering the many plights of modern life, and other times the music is a ruckus rowdy jamboree complete with the classic fiddle banjo backbone that makes it so hard to sit down. The evolution of the band continues, with the release of their second full length album “Great Big Hearts” the band consciously recreated their sound, bringing in a multitude of different instruments to compliment the new material. Harmonium, Baritone and Tabla make appearances on songs along with Piano, Banjo, Trumpet, Sousaphone, Guitar, Fiddle and Drums that have been the bands favorite instruments over the last few years. While paying homage to some of the great traditional music The Prickers have never been purveyors of tradition. The excitement is in the play between the two worlds of future and past, and never becoming to rooted to any one form or style. Collaboration with other musicians has always been at the core of the bands inspiration, and you never know who may join the band on stage for a show…could be you!
The Unknown Woodsmen
Original tunes peppered with the soul, groove, and growl of Blues, Reggae, R&B, and Rock. Take a listen - you won't regret it.