The latest single from The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, taken from their upcoming debut project with Smithsonian Folkways, brings fiddler Laura Orshaw to the fore.
Orshaw delivers a powerful version of the Hazel Dickens classic, Ramblin’ Woman, played in the trademark PRB style, drawing heavily on the sound of The Stanley Brothers. It’s the perfect song to introduce her to their fans as a vocalist, playing on both the band name and a stereotype long associated with our music.
Laura gives this mid-tempo waltz number a typically dynamic reading, and says that she feels pride bringing this song back.
“This song was written by Hazel Dickens in the 1970s as a rebuttal against all of the songs about ‘rambling men,’ so I thought it’d be the perfect debut single for me as a lead vocalist with The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys. Hazel Dickens was one of the first women to take center stage in bluegrass music. It was incredibly meaningful for me to hear Hazel’s music, and see other women performing on stage. While our band name harkens back to the old days of bluegrass when it was mostly men in touring bluegrass bands, we try to honor history while also expanding the reach of bluegrass music and keeping it relevant to our world today!”
Check it out, with support from her bandmates C.J. Lewandowski on mandolin, Jereme Brown on banjo, Josh Rinkel on guitar, and Jasper Lorentzen on bass.
Lewandowski, who also serves as bandleader for the Boys, expressed how much they all appreciate having Orshaw as a full member of the group.
“Laura has been filling in for us since 2017, and she’s been part of the band for the last two years now. So, it’s five of us now. She gels perfectly with what we want to do in the studio and onstage—when the creative juices get flowing, the music gets hot.”
I can concur with that statement, having had the opportunity to catch The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys recently not far from where I live. Over three hours of music they never once let the intensity drop, and the pulsating drive the band produces becomes almost hypnotic over such a period of time.
Ramblin’ Woman is available now as a single from popular download and streaming services online.
Pre-orders and pre-saves for the new album, Never Slow Down, are also enabled online with delivery on March 25.