The Groanbox Boys are American musicians Cory Seznec and Michael Ward-Bergeman. Seznec and Ward-Bergeman play American/World Roots music on accordion, acoustic guitar, banjo, piano, harmonica, shackles, and their self-made Freedom Boot.
"Fences Come Down" was recorded, like their first release "Smokestack Trilogy", completely outside the studio, this time on location at Hollywood Farm in Annapolis, Maryland. The songs were generated in one week's time, and recorded the following week by their engineer and co-producer, Yann Seznec - first in a small cottage in the backwoods, and subsequently in a red barn that contains all the basic machinery and tools for the farm.
The songs are, as always, a direct reflection of the Groanbox journey, sonic manifestations of Cory and Michael's forays into their present and past experiences. Fences Come Down features tales of tormented love, adventures from the road, hobos, the creatures of the Farm, the noises of the Forest, the longing for roots versus the desire for discovery, and an Appalachian murder ballad thrown in for good measure. Instruments include an Allodi accordion, a 1920s Galiano grand concert guitar (lent to Cory by guitarchaeologist Neil Harpe), a Bob Thornburg gourd banjo, an Enoch Tradesman banjo made with wood from Hollywood Farm, and the Freedom Boot. In addition, keep your ears open for various farm sounds including an axe, sledgehammer and wedge hitting a log, a crab pot, crickets, cicadas, birds, and other strange bits of percussion/ambient noise.
Produced by Yann Seznec and The Groanbox Boys
Photography for the album by Harry Kalish and Sarah Van Keuren