Rollin’ in the Hay, Montgomery Brew Pub, Montgomery, Alabama- 11/19
It was nice on a Wednesday night, to have good music come to
Montgomery, Alabama where three guys from Birmingham rolled into town for a
night of kicked-back, hootin’ and hollerin’ renegade jam-grass. Rick Carter
(guitars, vocals), Stan Foster (bass, vocals), and Barry Waldrep (guitar,
banjo, mandolin, and vocals) make up Rollin’ in the Hay, affectionately
known by their loyal fans as simply, The Hay. Right off the bat, one
notices the interesting set-up of the trio, an electric bass, surrounded on
either side by acoustic guitars. Stan almost always plays an electric bass,
while Barry and Rick almost always sport their acoustic instruments. As for
their influences, Stan is drawn to 70’s funk as well as the likes of the Allman Brothers
Band. Rick’s main sources of inspiration are Jerry Garcia and the Grateful
Dead as well as John Bell and Widespread Panic, among others. Barry is
deeply rooted in the ways of traditional bluegrass. This varied blend of
influences and inspirations makes for quite a mic of music as the band delivers a fine balance of its own original tunes and familiar cover songs to ensure the
attentiveness of the listener.
The second set was equally entertaining. With Barry playing his banjo, they started
off with the 80’s hit, "I’ll Stop The World," and then proceeded with a straight-up,
downright schizophrenic medley of "Dueling Banjos"->"Beverly Hillbillies
"Blister in the Sun"(Violent Femmes)>"Gin and Juice"(Snoop
Dog)->"Dueling Banjos." The next two tunes fit together nicely as their humorous
original, "I’m Drinkin’ Whiskey" rolled right on into the cover tune "Whiskey River." Another original,
"Miracle Ticket," (Rick’s account of trying to get into a Grateful Dead show) was followed by a
rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s, "Atlantic City." The traditional "Deep
Elem Blues," was followed by another JJ Cale song (often covered by Widespread Panic),
"Traveling Light," which was played with good intensity and followed by Little Feat’s, "Dixie Chicken."
With Barry playing his mandolin once again, the group closed out their set with "Jerry and JB" which
given the band’s proclivities was a fitting tribute to Jerry Garcia and John Bell.
On this evening Rollin’ in the Hay was nothing short of a real good time, with
creative song selection and solid originals matched by tight, cohesive playing.