Della Mae – Big Spike Hammer

I’ve been waiting for this.

Ever since distaff grassers Della Mae started making waves in Boston a couple years back, I have been looking out for a video of them performing the Pete Goble/Bobby Osborne, classic Big Spike Hammer, the song that is the genesis of their band name.

The chorus of the song starts… “Hey, hey Della Mae. Why do you treat me this way.” Lest you suspect an unwitting coincidence, their web address is

Big Spike Hammer was famously recorded by  The Osborne Brothers, though like many younger folks, the Dellas Mae may have first heard the brilliant version cut by the Bluegrass Album Band in 1983. They were captured doing the song at Grey Fox this summer, and the video has been posted online.

The question arises… can a group of young women do justice to a song about a big, tough railroad man – without a banjo and in the key of E?

You tell me.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.