“Living dinosaurs of Danish Oldtime music”...”a biological sensation” – you may call us whatever you like. The Possum Whackers certainly make up the original core of the Danish Oldtime scene, having experienced the revelation back in the 60’es when the Stanley Brothers would still be playing real mountain Bluegrass and The New Lost City Ramblers would open the eyes of the world – including ours - to the rich heritage of Appalachian music and life.
The Possum Whackers did not intentionally select a specific regional Appalachian style of playing, but we guess the collective effort approaches a kind of Hillsville/Galax band-style. Certainly not the hard-driving Round Peak-style, that seems to be dominating Oldtime music these days. In that respect we guess we’re a bit old-fashioned too. We prefer the measured, swinging and strong approach rather than Hell-bound speed. Axel’s calm and delicate guitar-playing and John’s swinging bass provide the well-laid rail-track of the Possum Whackers’ sound.
Our playing, of course, reflects the sources that we would listen to while “growing up”. Anders claims he adheres to the KISS principle, meaning Keep It Simple, Stupid. He was inspired by people like Kyle Creed, Fred Cockerham, Doug Unger and countless others and his playing sounds a lot like that of the late Rufus Quesinberry of the Oldtimers - enough to bring out the Uncle Norman Edmonds in a fiddler. Indeed, Ole’s first role-model was the very same Uncle Norm with his archaic driving fiddle – he’s always been one of Ole’s heroes. Other fiddlers influential on Ole’s playing were Wade Ward (though he was primarily known for his Clawhammer-banjo, he was an incredible fiddler too), Hobart Smith, Glen Smith, Luther Strong, W.H.Stepp, Marcus Martin and a host of other giants of the past. Never caught the Tommy Jarrell-bowing, though – still working on it, but don’t really miss being able to.
Steve Arkin writes:
"Wow—if you didn’t know, you’d never, ever, guess that The Possum Whackers are from Denmark (do they have possums in Denmark?). This beautifully played and recorded CD features 15 tracks, marked by solid rhythm and fine playing of some of my very favorite tunes. The band is tight with a great driving rhythm groove—they play with texture and authority and manage to put their own stamp on this great music with nary a hint of their cross-the-pond provenance. The liner notes are as entertaining as they are informative. I heartily recommend this CD for anybody who loves old-time string band music".
Dick Harrington writes:
"Well, that’s a helluva Possam Whackers CD you All Young guys have put out. Everyone on it does a fine job, Ole, Anders, Axel, John, and listening to it over and over makes me really happy. The only problem with the CD is that you guys who made it live far across the water in that godless land of Denmark—much too far away for us godful old-time players in these United States to jam with you every week. Shucks. Anyhow, your died-in-the wool godlessness is truly revealed in your blasphemous rendition of Rainbow Sign. The very idea Noah would drink like that. It makes a god-fearing teetotaler like myself tremble with fright. Any moment now, lightning will strike me down just for listening. Well, not just for listening—but listening with such shameless pleasure. All the tunes and songs captivate me from Sandy Boys to Rainy Day in Traeden. Mary Beth, too, who sends her love to all of you across the water.
To clarify a couple of historical points, Julie Ann Johnson needed to be an Arkansas Traveler with all those All young Danish guys chasing after her. She could have used an Old Horse and Buggy to make her getaway. She tried changing her name to Sal but then Got Mud Between Her Toes and ran into Cotton-Eyed Joe at Half Past Four one day up On Elkhorn Ridge with serious Trouble on [Her] Mind. Then that handsome rounder Hickory Jack came along, and after enjoying a Rainy Day in Traeden, the two of them ran off to Robinson County. At The Brushy Fork of John’s Creek, the Chilly Winds blew like hell and the Sandy Boys chased them into a cave, where they remain to this day, living happily ever after. Who knows how they get by.
Your liner-note booklet is nothing short of wonderful, as well, with its telling photos and witty, knowledgeable remarks. It makes for really good reading and reflecting on the history and wonders of old-time music. Y’all inspire me, boys. I can’t thank you enough. "