Preview: The Tillers at the Hi-Fi

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Old-Time Folk Band The Tillers Come to the Hi-Fi on March 31st

There’s just something about American roots music that stirs the soul. Any kind of roots music does, of course, that’s why it sticks around. It’s a music that takes you back to a past that was alternately brutal and tender, hilarious and tragic, any many other things. Often at the same time. In short, it’s a music that allows us to share feelings with people long dead. Even if the transfer only goes one way. Which brings us to the Tillers. A roots/folk band who will perform for us at the Hi-Fi on March 31st. Think of them as a living link to the old days, keeping the way open and the transmission going.

A Brief History

The Tillers’ story begins in Cincinnati where, in August of 2007, a group of friends decided to fumble around with mandolins a little. Now, as we all know, there are only a few places that can end up and the Tillers predictably began learning folk songs. Actual folk songs, the kind that bear the imprint of “Traditional” or “Anonymous”, history’s two most prolific authors. Plus some Woody Guthrie tunes as well.

They played minor gigs at first. Very minor. Like hanging out on street corners playing for burritos and change. A humble beginning, to be sure, but not an inauspicious one. And they persevered.¬†Eventually, they burrowed into Cincinnati’s festival and bar scene where they enjoyed a warm reception. However, that’s only local fame. Which, while not exactly cheap, does have one drawback: it’s local, not national. But then, Tom Brokaw, he of the ultra-serious finality, fixed all that. His documentary on US Route 50 featured the band’s song “There is a Road (Route 50)”, bringing them to national attention. Which brings us to now, with them getting ready to play dear old Indy.

Their Sound

In a word, folk. In two words: pure folk. The Tillers have a very old-timey sound, perhaps not authentic in the strictest¬† sense, but definitely old-timey. As noted by their bio, they have a distinct undercurrent of punk to their work, though not enough to classify them as folk punk. Basically, if you like wooden basses, banjos, and mandolins, than this one’s for you.

So, as always. The venue is the Hi-Fi, door’s at 8:00PM.

See you there!

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