About Big Spike
It's natural to associate country music and bluegrass mainly with the Southeast, since many of the most popular artists were based and recorded there.
But New England has country music roots which are just as deep and strong and long-lived.
It's natural to associate country music and bluegrass mainly with the Southeast, but New England has country music roots which are just as deep and strong and long-lived.In fact, swings through Vermont, Maine, upstate New York and southern Canada were the mainstay of many country acts during the 40's and 50's. Some northeast cities even had their own live stage shows and radio broadcasts, such as Boston's WCOP Hayloft Jamboree and Schenectady, NY's WGY Radio Ranch, which featured local and national country artists on weekly stage shows.
Thus it's not surprising to find bands like Big Spike living and thriving in rural northern Vermont! Big Spike plays traditional bluegrass and country in the traditional bluegrass style.
The members of Big Spike all seem to be drawn to the same elements in country music. They all have a great appreciation and respect for the earlier groups in country and bluegrass music, like The Blue Sky Boys, the Delmore Brothers, and the Louvin Brothers, and the early incarnations of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, Jimmie Martin's Sunny Mountain Boys, and Flatt & Scruggs. Country music through the 1950's didn't distinguish bluegrass from C&W; it was all just "country music", so doing a Webb Pierce or a George Jones song bluegrass style, as Big Spike often does, fits right in with the tradition.
With two excellent fiddle players in the band, they often revert to the full, twin fiddle sound that was an integral part of early country.
The band aims to recreate a sound that is long gone from country music, a sound closer to the honky tonk and early bluegrass sound of the 50's than it is to what's played in Nashville today. With two excellent fiddle players in the band, they often revert to the full, twin fiddle sound that was an integral part of early country. Their choice of material reflects their appreciation of the great country and bluegrass singers of the past.
They set themselves apart from many newer bands by their love for the songs of an earlier era, especially the sounds of the classic "brother duets" of the thirties, forties and fifties. To a repertoire that draws from the Louvins and the Delmore Brothers, the Blue Sky Boys, Flatt and Scruggs, Red Allen, Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers, they add their own classic-sounding original songs.
With many decades of band experience among them, Big Spike are entertainers who bring a sense of humor and a deep understanding of the music and the songs to the stage. Whether it's a driving instrumental, a "heart song" done duet style, or a tight a capella gospel quartet, audiences respond enthusiastically.
Oh, yeah. The name? It's from the classic bluegrass song, Big Spike Hammer, by the Osborne Brothers.