"Sweet Bama" is the third CD by this Alabama-based old-time string band.
The Trash is best known for its playing of traditional fiddle tunes in a powerful, driving style that has made them highly popular with dancers across the country.
In recent years they've made a name for themselves onstage in clubs, concerts halls and festivals, where audiences enjoy their old-time blues numbers, songs (just about everybody in the Trash sings) and their friendly and funny on-stage banter.
"Sweet Bama" features many of the numbers they do on-stage as well as a number of potent dance medleys.
The seven members of the Red Mountain White Trash started playing together around 1985.
They all lived in Birmingham on Red Mountain in a historic neighborhood that was being gentrified by young professionals.
Slow to renovate, the band members wondered if they were considered the "white trash" of the neighborhood and savored the concept of BMW's upon blocks and obsolete expresso machines on the front porch. Thus came the band name that has been loved by some, deplored by others. Though their name is facetious, they take their music seriously.
Many of their tunes were collected from older fiddlers in Alabama and Tennessee, and they play in a style that reflects the region in which they live.
Folks often describe Red Mountain White Trash as a wall of sound.
Components of this sound are twin fiddles played by Ed Baggott and Jim Cauthen, guitar by Joyce Cauthen, mandolin by Phil Foster, harmonica and banjo uke by Jamie Finley, autoharp by Bill Martin and bass by Nancy Jackson.
On recordings and some club gigs they are joined by the talented vocalist and guitarist, Carole Griffin, who has two delightful cuts on "Sweet Bama." On this recording they are also joined on one cut by Robert Stripling, oldest son of the great Alabama fiddler Charlie Stripling, who plays rhythm guitar on his dad's tune, "Lost Child."
What folks say about Red Mountain White Trash:
"Totally groove-enhancing, dance-entrancing music. Each tune is lively, vibrant, and played with such spirit and exuberance, it's a thrill just to sense their energy and enthusiasm. Definitely worth seeking out."
-DIRTY LINEN, magazine CD Review of Fire in the Dumpster, Oct/Nov '96
"This band is southern old-time with a special wild flare.
They are considered Alabama's premier old-time band and have performed at the Atlanta dance weekend and throughout the east. Dancers enjoy their driving tunes, solid rhythms, and variety of tunes. Jamie Finley on harmonica adds a wailing bluesy sound which adds twist and color to old-time tradition."
-From flyer for Endless Summer Dance Weekend, Tallahassee, FL
"They have a firm, stately ensemble sound that is creative yet works entirely within a traditional framework: in places they are reminiscent of a couple of the fine early Arkansas string bands, with a richly textured sound that includes two fiddles, harp, guitar, mandolin, autoharp and a very well played acoustic bass. - Review of "Chickens Don't Roost Too High" in County Sales Newsletter, Jan.-Feb. 1999
[Old-Time (New Recording) #1 RECORD OF THE YEAR - 1999]
"The group sprang up organically at neighborhood get-togethers, much like the Squirrel Nut Zippers, then went on to release an album called Fire in the Dumpster.
Red Mountain White Trash has a playful sense of humor, lots of talent and a brand-new CD on its resume. - Mary Colurso, The Birmingham News, Dec. 1999.
"They put a grin on your face, even when you're not dancing, so I can only imagine the beaming faces at one of their dances." -Kerry Blech, Victory Music Review, January 1999.
"I'm going to start this review in top gear by saying that I haven't been so excited by a new release by living musicians since...a friend asked me to listen to this new record by a group called The Highwoods String Band.
It's sorta deju vu, all over again...This is a big, powerful group that puts out a wonderful, somewhat unconventional sound that has been described as a "wall of sound." The analogy falls short; this music is more than a two-dimensional wall.
It is a moving, rocking, sometimes undulating, sometimes sentimental sound that rarely falls short of excellent."-Review of "Chickens Don't Roost Too High" by Bob Woodcock in The Old-Time Herald, Summer 1999.