Smart bets: Packway Handle Band

When they recruited him, the bluegrass musicians in Packway Handle Band didn’t know how profoundly producer Jim White would influence their next album. A wise and pensive entertainer, White seemed a logical complement for the rambunctious Athens, Ga.-based quintet, whose exuberant performances made him jealous. “I always look like I’m going to the dentist when I’m onstage,” he told Athens newsweekly Flagpole. But, in accepting the project, White upped the ante and essentially invited himself to become a temporary bandmate. Not only does he sing and play on the resulting collaboration, Take It Like A Man, but about half of the songs were pulled from the songwriter’s own bluegrass vault. Somehow, the disparate styles flow together, bobbing up and down in mood but always keeping the ride entertaining. Packway Handle Band performs at The Grey Eagle on Saturday, Aug. 20, at 9 p.m. $12/$15. Photo courtesy of the musicians

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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3 thoughts on “Smart bets: Packway Handle Band

  1. boatrocker

    So Jim White bullied that band to play with them as a newbie for promising awesome social media coverage/gigs for plugging in to play
    skanky jam grass?

    Yea, long live bluegrass.

    Sweeeeeeeeeeeet, bra.

    Like a watered down T. Bone Burnett who hangs out with real musicians- who is a musical version of Tarantino, as in
    ‘Can I make a movie about this for remaking 70’s movie- and can I pleeeeeeease have a cameo in it?” Mmmmm hmmmm.

  2. Kat McReynolds

    That’s not my understanding of the situation, but maybe you’ve got another source. To me, it sounds like the young beards wanted to get whipped into shape in the studio, and JW seemed like a good, structured mind to direct that process. Plus, they didn’t have quite enough tunes for a full album yet, and JW had written some bluegrass material that he was willing to collaborate on. If you’re interested, there’s a good interview on it here: http://www.npr.org/sections/world-cafe/2015/04/29/403026152/jim-white-vs-the-packway-handle-band-on-world-cafe

    • boatrocker

      I think I like your explanation better, but I may be a bit cynical when it comes to money.
      Still, I stand by the Tarantino comment as he manages to annoy his movie viewers on both sides of the camera.

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