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The Fox Hunt takes the stage at the Culture Center

By Susan Bissett Spangler

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Love. Heartbreak. Murder. Drunken debauchery. These are the boys your momma warned you about.

The Fox Hunt took the stage Saturday night at the West Virginia Culture Center as part of the 2011-12 Footmad Concert Series.

The quartet sang into one single-condenser microphone (old-school mixing at its best), playing old-time music, bluegrass and early country.

They switched instruments after each song -- acoustic guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and upright bass. Each member is versatile and talented to play any instrument sitting on stage while singing traditional tunes like "Hang Me" and a few Fox Hunt favorites including "Crack Shot" and "If it Suits Me."

Charleston singer-songwriter John Lilly also took the stage with the group to close out the show.

Hailing from the Eastern Panhandle, The Fox Hunt's music is rooted in Appalachian tradition with the fiddle at the forefront in almost every song. Their music is a mix of original songwriting and vintage Americana with tales of loneliness, heartache, and substance abuse.

The paradox here is that the music is not depressing. Instead, it makes you want to kick your shoes off and dance.

Dressed in Carhartt, bluejeans, T-shirts and flannel, this gritty crew makes bluegrass a party. Although the show took place at the Culture Center, their music leaves you craving an open space someplace on a West Virginia mountaintop. Face it. These guys make string band look sexy.

The group just released their third full-length album, "Long Way to Go."

The band hasn't announced any other show dates. However, if the past repeats itself, they are sure to be back in the area soon.


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