Hailing from the Mile-High City, The Hobo Nickels enjoy a unique, bird’s-eye perspective on Americana-style music. As they take their cues from a wide range of influences including Bill Monroe, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and They Might Be Giants, The Hobo Nickels drift along the borders of bluegrass, swing, zydeco, klezmer, folkabilly, country, story songs, and children’s music. By day, Tim (accordion), Andy (guitar) and Rob (ukulele) work together at a Denver-based ad agency. Once they added Steve (upright bass) to the mix, the foursome started playing venues such as the legendary Swallow Hill, gaining a loyal following along the way. The charm and wit of their recorded material transfers into a bass-twirlin’, foot-stompin’ live show, fun for show-goers young and old.
\"Cooper County\", The Hobo Nickels’ debut release, blends folksy storytelling with a grab bag of Americana music styles. Each song depicts a different mid-western small town where ramshackle barns, stinking silos, cursed bridges and other iconic structures dwell among the townsfolk. While the ten town names are inspired by actual places, the stories, of course, are pure hogwash. Nevertheless, this eclectic song set manages to touch on such themes as historical preservation and community pride. With a pinch of geek-pop sensibility, The Hobo Nickels’ \"Cooper County\" is a bubbly gumbo of unforgettable melodies and jaw-buzzing kazoo solos—kids’ music for adults and adult music for kids.
Okay, what’s a hobo nickel? Back in the day, many hobos of the Depression Era were skilled engravers. When the Indian Head nickel, also known as the Buffalo nickel, was introduced in 1913, these hobos found a perfect canvass to carve new images into the coin’s soft metal, hence the name, hobo nickel. The Indian might be given a hat and mutton chops, or the buffalo could be shaped into a traveler carrying a backpack and so on. Today, like the vagabond craftsmen of old, The Hobo Nickels are scratching their own melodic impressions atop a classic American art form.