The Hackensaw Boys opened up for Camper Van Beethoven at the Gypsy Tea Room in Deep Ellum on January 18, 2005 in one of the more bizzare pairings of opening acts and headliners that I've seen in quite a while. The Hackensaw Boys are an Appalacian Style bluegrass outfit based out of Charlotteville, VA. Before going any further, I should disclose that I was much more interested in the opening act on this bill than the headliner. I had vague memories of a couple of Camper Van Beethoven's songs ("Pictures of Matchstick Men" and "Take the Skinheads Bowling") from when I was in high school, but I wouldn't consider myself to be a fan. I am a fan of CvB front man, David Lowery's, other band Cracker, but the real reason I made the trip down to the Gypsy Tea Room was to catch the Hackensaws.
I saw these guys for the first time last year at the exceptional Wakarusa Music Festival. I've been waiting for them to play within reasonable driving distance since last summer and they didn't disappoint. The only negative I can say about the Hackensaw set was that it was they didn't have enough time to stretch out and play. They finished their set with an intimate un-miked song on the edge of the stage. Unfortunately you had to be near the edge of the stage to hear anything over the CvB fan, complete with his "Member's Only" jacket and coke mirror left over from the last time Camper Van Beethoven played a show in Dallas or released an album, shouting about the time he saw Camper and Siouxe and the Banshees in back '84 to his dwarf-like drinking buddy sporting an unfortunate comb-over.