Foggy Hometown Boys Scotch & Sofa

Long leading lights on Toronto, ON's thriving bluegrass scene, the Foggy Hometown Boys just keep getting better. Though all very active in other bands (fiddler John Showman and mandolinist Andrew Collins are in the acclaimed Creaking Tree String Quartet), they still play together regularly, and it shows. Scotch & Sofa features their spirited take on traditional material alongside some strong originals (Collins' "Saving The Next Dance For You" and Showman's "Riptide" are standouts), and covers of country classics from the Louvin Brothers and Hank Williams. Splitting lead vocal duties between Showman, Collins, Chris Coole and Max Heineman also adds a refreshing variety to their sound (multi-instrumentalist Chris Quinn rounds out the line-up). These cats are all seriously accomplished players, but it is their genuine enthusiasm for this music that shines through, rather than any virtuosic noodling. Their sense of fun is also reflected in the very humorous artwork, depicting the Boys in various debauched or debonair disguises. Sofa, so good. (Independent)