Hoth Brothers Band
Tell Me How You Feel
The Hoth Brothers Band – Boris McCutcheon (vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin), Bard Edrington V (vocals, guitar, banjo) and Sarah Ferrell (bass, vocals) are an American string band located in Northern New Mexico and Tell Me How You Feel is their second release (the first, Workin’ And Dreamin’ came out in 2019). Boris and Bard have been highlights of the New Mexico music scene for years, and together they embody the feeling of purpose that informs the best of folk music as practiced by folks with the last names of Guthrie and Seeger, et al. Moments such as “Poor Man’s Light” evoke a sense of history while giving hope – “maybe we’ll make it, after all”. “Trouble and Desire” recounts longing from both sides of a affair, with all the good and bad that entails.
The music here is largely acoustic, with a practiced fluency that assists but never overwhelms the songs. There is an aura of the desert air in which the band resides, a palpable sense of “New Mexico time” which means nothing is rushed, nothing is urgent. You take things as they come out there, and most likely you’ll come to relish the relaxed nature that the songs bring to bear. It can be light-hearted on songs such as “Cherry Pits” and “Honeyguide”, or provoking on “Tell Me What You’re Thinking”. The band’s ace in the hole is Sarah Ferrell. A rock-steady bassist, her voice is the perfect counter-point to Bard and Boris, and on the acapella “One Hard Rain” she steals the show.
“Rough Ragged Edge” finishes the album, a tribute to New Mexico by Albuquerque legend Lewie Wickham who passed in 2013, and it fits the high desert ambiance that the Hoth Brothers Band provides in spades on Tell Me How You Feel. The 17 cuts here will hook you with their simple passion, and provide a sense of why this area – and it’s people – are so compelling. A work to be savored.