Star Ledger

TRIS McCALL/STAR LEDGER: There are many country-folk revivalists in New Jersey, but few as reliably entertaining as Hoboken’s Demolition String Band. Singers Elena Skye and Boo Reiners and their accompanists are traditionalists, and their appreciation of old-time bluegrass is absolutely sincere — there’s nothing staid about their delivery, which has the swing of Ricky Skaggs and the comfort of Jerry Garcia’s Old and in the Way.  These city slickers sing and play like a congenial aunt and uncle in a West Virginia mining town. They’re also terrific guitarists, and the album is framed by instrumentals: Different versions of Skye’s weeping “Jethro’s Lullabye” open and close the set, and Reiners’ “Boojo Breakdown” burns like a shot of bourbon. As usual, the pair has come up with inspired covers: Their take on the Ramones’ “Questioningly” refashions the ballad as a backwoods ramble, and “Alibis” honors the memory and roughneck approach of Blaze Foley. As you might expect from an album so resolutely Appalachian, the financial crisis casts a shadow over the songs; outstanding originals “Misfortune” and “Under the Weather” sound more desperate than the Woody Guthrie cover (“Hard Ain’t it Hard”). (view the original article here)