Music » Livewire

The Mammals

Tuesday, January 20, at the Beachland Ballroom.

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The Mammals cannot be written off as just another "next generation of bluegrass/traditional" band. No, this trio, which gets plenty of help from friends and relatives, offers more than merely the ability to rip it up instrumentally on such chestnuts as "Way Down the Old Plank Road" or "John Brown's Dream." Folk with attitude? Sure. The band, which includes Tao Rodriguez-Seeger (grandson of political-folk messiah Pete Seeger), Ruth Unger (daughter of Grammy-winning fiddler Jay Unger), and Mike Merenda, is bold enough to tackle Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" and the classic Tin Pan Alley number "Stairway to the Stars." The Mammals also have guts enough to get Joan Baez-style political on a few of their self-penned tunes (Grandpa Pete does the oration on the spoken-word "Industrial Park, the closer to the CD Evolver). The Mammals have taken "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and made it "O brother, you have to hear this."

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