The SLACK FAMILY is a phenomenal bluegrass band with a strange and sordid history. I'll attempt to tell the story here, as best I can recollect it.
The SLACK FAMILY was living a peaceful day to day life in the foothills of the Broke Slack Mountain, somewhere near Possum Holler, VA They had only the shirts on their backs and the good sense God gave them. They were surviving by brewing up corn squeezins and playing bluegrass tunes at the local watering hole, Clem's Dew Drop Inn. They would probably still be living that way today, except that while searching for the legendary Buckshot Still, some revenuers discovered the Slacks way back up in the woods.
The AT&F boys found the Slacks living in a one room tar paper shack, and decided that they better "save" the Slacks from the evils of mountain life. The revenuers brought them to the county courthouse and turned them over to the magistrate. He took one look at the sad, forlorn bunch and said they would have to go live in the state poor house over in Galax.
The Slacks were so upset by this news that they broke into one of their sadder tunes, something about the "fields are dry and my hound-dog done died". Anyway, the magistrate, being a man who enjoyed a good tune and a nip now and again, knew he had stumbled onto some real talent. He phoned up his old buddy, big city record man, Dicky Jay.
Dicky made the trip from River City down to Clem's Dew Drop Inn just to hear the Slacks burn the joint down with their hootin' and a hollerin' hillbilly music. He signed them to an exclusive contract on the spot, and today they are the barn dance darlings of River City.
The Slacks don't think much of all this, and continue to live life in the old ways. It's rumored that they still make a little mash within the city limits, just for medicinal purposes, of course.
"Once you've gone SLACK, you'll never go back"
-- a satisfied slacker, 2001
The SLACK FAMILY began life over 20 years ago performing in the streets and back alley's of Richmond to enthusiastic, mesmerized bar hopping listeners. Eventually a wise and philanthropic bar owner invited them inside to reclaim his roving clientele, bestowed upon them the moniker "SLACK FAMILY" and hence a destiny was fulfilled.
Today this family of "brothers from different mothers" is ever creating energetic, diverse and infectious music featuring three part vocal harmonies and a wide variety of indigenous influences that give more than a nod to the way "it used to was". This blend of traditional, contemporary and original tunes with mass appeal for all ages renders music their fans affectionately dub "slackgrass".
The SLACK FAMILY has released three CDs. Their self titled debut "SLACK FAMILY BLUEGRASS BAND", "Pickin' up the Slack" and the newly released "Trains and Rain" recorded at Slipped Disc studios by Grammy award winning engineer Bill McElroy. These recordings capture the high-energy style of music the SLACK FAMILY is renowned for showcasing in their live shows.
After years of performing in a wide variety of venues in and around the Commonwealth, the SLACK FAMILY is equally adept pickin' at your backyard bar-b-que or entertaining on your Festival stage. Standing in a row behind a line of microphones, or encircling a solitary mic for a sound reminiscent of the early bluegrass pioneers. Also, like the days of yore, they infuse a healthy portion of country wit and wisdom into their comical banter on stage, spurring the audience to join them in the good time forth-with.
We'll see you in the future, or we'll see you in the pasture.