Pixie and The Partygrass Boys
Pixie and The Partygrass Boys = Greensky Bluegrass + Yonder Mountain Stringband
Fun and funky bluegrass band Pixie and The Partygrass Boys deliver yet again with Utah Made, a six-track EP. The album features the original group and a long list of “guest chickens,” aka collaborators, who appear on each track and help hammer the party-nail into the partygrass vibe.
The album opens with “Home,” is a timeless, happy song that is moderately paced, with plenty of pauses between notes that grows in volume throughout its seven-minutes. The track begins with some solo strums and fiddling before the group draws out the word “home” a few times before diving back into instrumental with the drums. The group often sings together with lyrics like, “Yes I am home / yes I am home / yes I am home,” while Katia Racine sings solo between folksy plucks, fiddling bows and rattles on the tambourine: “Just like the river / Or a bottle of whiskey / Oh, you wash my troubles away / just like the mountains and the desert / oh, I know you’re here to stay.” In a classic bluegrass way, this song is completed with a bridge that is accompanied by claps and stomps rather than instruments.
“Snow Day” is a fiddle frenzy out the door, with quick bows and the occasional banjo strum and bodhran thump. The banjo and fiddle trade places at the fore, while the remaining instruments support and all eventually fuse into one. Despite being entirely lyric-less, the upbeat rhythm easily embodies the excitement and movement of a Utah snow day song.
In an instrumentally similar way, “Utah Maid” is quick-paced and fiddle-friendly, yet with some funny lyrics about Mormonism, getting laid and smoking weed. The lyrics are a bit more structured like sentences rather than poetics, which reel me in to the classic Utah storyline. Amanda Grapes sings, “Well, Utah can be weird / But I love living here / The outdoors are a hippie dream / And I love the Utah music scene!”
This EP is truly locally infused and all things Utah, from the song titles to the album cover. The album art features a beautiful image of the mountains in the sunset sky pouring into red rock canyons of Southern Utah. The band is clearly instrumentally talented and perfectly paints the pitfalls and quirkiness of Utah while simultaneously making us fall further in love with it. One thing is for certain: With music and bands like this, there truly is no place like home. –Lizz Corrigan
Editorial Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly named Katia Racine as the vocalist on “Utah Made,” as opposed to Amanda Grapes. Changes have been made to correct this information.