It'll be a busy week for the Packway Handle Band, an alternative bluegrass quintet from Athens, Ga. Fresh off a hometown concert at the fabulous 40 Watt Cub (with support from Corduroy Road), Packway embarked on the first led of a six-week Southeastern tour this week. Comprised of Michael Paynter (mandolin, vocals), Josh Erwin (guitar, vocals), Andrew Heaton (fiddle, vocals), Zach McCoy (upright bass), and Tom Baker (banjo, vocals), the band performs with a traditional "gather around the mic" style.
This evening (Aug. 26), the band plays the first of a two-night mini-tour of the Charleston area with a gig at Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ in West Ashley (1205 Ashley River Road). On Thurs. Aug. 27, they bring the 'grass action to the stage at the newly-opened Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ on Sullivan's Island (2209 Middle Street).
The last time I heard 'em wasn't at a proper show, but, rather, through the ceiling of my friend Peter Alvanos' apartment in the Athens neighborhood of Five Points during a visit last winter. McCoy had the band over for a rehearsal, during which they tried a harmony-heavy reworking of "Where is My Mind?" by The Pixies. Someone kept time by stomping on the floor. I captured a bit of it on the hand-held recorder (click the audio sample on the right and listen carefully).