A Hawk and a Hacksaw are one of the acts Portishead chose as a Ones To Watch in Issue 29 of Clash magazine, read more and download a free compilation of the tracks here.
“Every time I hear them I get this warm feeling about their music.”
This is not indie pop music taking the trappings of Eastern European folk music, AKA Gogol Bordello, but the real deal.
A Hawk And A Hacksaw are a folk band from Albuquerque, New Mexico, whose sound spectacle, inspired by Eastern European and particularly Balkan traditions, will get you dancing and yelping like you never thought possible.
“They are utterly cool,” exclaims Adrian Utely. “Every time I hear them I get this warm feeling about their music.”
Percussionist Jeremy Barnes, who was previously the drummer for ’90s indie folk revisionists Neutral Milk Hotel, and violinist Heather Trost make up the heart of the band.
Barnes says of Trost: “[She] started playing violin at age three. Violins for three year olds are quite small. She has also taught violin to three year olds. She teaches them a song called ‘Boiling Cabbage Down’.”
The pair moved to Budapest, Hungary in 2006 to fully immerse themselves in the Eastern European folk music they had been so inspired by. The sincerity of their sound is perhaps bolstered by recording sessions within the rustic confines of a small Romanian village.
AHAAH recently teamed up with a group of talented Hungarian folk musicians who have come together under the name The Hun Hangar Ensemble on a tour and album release.
Catch them at their only UK festival performance this year at the End Of The Road festival in September.
Listen to: their collaboration with The Hun Hungar Ensemble, cunningly titled ‘A Hawk And A Hacksaw & The Hun Hungar Ensemble’.
Fact: They have recently been on a trip to Transylvania “to look for folk music”.