Man About a Horse Debut New EP

Bluegrass men-about-town Man About a Horse celebrated the release of their debut EP this past Tuesday at the Abbaye amidst friends, fans, and plenty of beer. After all, what goes better with bluegrass than beer? Maybe whiskey, but that’s a personal choice.

The EP, straightforwardly titled The EP, features four tracks of solidly-picked bluegrass that show off the band’s strengths to great effect. The opening track, “Take My Heart,” eases listeners into the country-porch-sittin’ mood with classic instrumentation, easy harmonies, and a catchy refrain written by the band’s guitarist Roy Matthews (who also provides the buttery lead vocals). It’s the kind of track that’s hard not to sing along to after just a few listens–a quality that fits right in with the band’s energetic and welcoming vibe overall.

The lively tempo and chunky bluegrass sound are carried on through the next two tracks on The EP: “The Harder They Come,” a Jimmy Cliff tune that sounds unexpectedly as natural in this bluegrass cover as it does in its original reggae form; and “A Few Hundred Miles,” a rollicking number about homesickness and the hills written by banjo player Julian Root, whose husky vocals are also featured on the track.

The most pleasant surprise on The EP comes last, with the sounds of mandolin player Justin Stevenson dutifully picking out the iconic intro (and French National Anthem) to the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love,” before the rest of the band joins in with happy harmonies and the solid rhythm laid down by bass player Matt Thomas. The Man About a Horse take on this song transforms it from the singsong-y, slighty-orchestral sway of the original into an upbeat number with undeniably feel-good appeal that leaves the listener ready for more.

While The EP is all the “more” that’s available in recorded form for now, catch Man About a Horse all over Philadelphia and beyond by staying up to date via the band’s Facebook page. If your life is feeling a little light on banjo, or you’re just an all-around fan of pickin’ parties, you’ll want to pick up this album now. The EP is available for streaming and purchase through Spotify, iTunes, or bandcamp.

Featured Image by Valentina Vidusin via Artist’s Facebook

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