Hammer Down

Album Review of Hammer Down by Steeldrivers.

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Hammer Down


Hammer Down by Steeldrivers

Release Date: Feb 5, 2013
Record label: Rounder
Genre(s): Bluegrass, Country, Americana, Contemporary Bluegrass, Traditional Bluegrass

75 Music Critic Score
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Hammer Down - Very Good, Based on 2 Critics

PopMatters - 80
Based on rating 8/10

According to the legend, John Henry was a steel driving man who could hammer through rocks with his bare hands faster than a man with a steam-powered device. Henry won the race against the new-fangled tool, but he died with his hammer in his hand. The SteelDrivers emulate John Henry in that the group members play only acoustic instruments—just their bare hands—and makes more loud music than any of those electrified groups.

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AllMusic - 70
Based on rating 7/10

On their third album, the SteelDrivers continue to forge their own unique path in the world of bluegrass/acoustic music. They play music that sounds like bluegrass on the surface, but they usually eschew the high lonesome harmonies of traditional bluegrass for a more mainstream approach that often sounds like hardcore country gone acoustic. New guitarist Gary Nichols' lead vocals owe as much to rock as they do to country and bluegrass, and the subject matter wanders far astray of the usual concerns of bluegrass traditions.

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