Hot Rock Pilgrims are an old-time/bluegrass super-group featuring some of the most exciting young pickers in the south east of England.
And when a band's biography declares that they defy genre, it’s often because they haven’t taken the time to master any of them. But Hot Rock Pilgrims on the other hand count among their number, bluegrass purists, the best Old Time fiddler outside the USA, and in Hubert Murray an Irish bluesman who’s also a damn fine flat-picking guitarist.
Since their formation in early 2014, they have wowed audiences at bluegrass festivals (Orwell, Cornwall), folk festivals (Fire In The Mountain) and mainstream festivals (Isle Of Wight and Wilderness festivals).
The band pack dance floors wherever they go, and following last year's rip-roaring festival season, they unleashed their debut album Squirrel Hunting on the world in October. A charming set of re-imagined traditional songs and melodies, its energy is infectious, the vibe raucous yet intricate.
Steeped in American roots music tradition, they're deeply groovy and a huge amount of fun.
Fiddle, banjo, guitar, stand-up bass and dobro are played wickedly fast and high, the influential Maverick Magazine declared: 'Scintillating musicianship of the highest order – quite how the roof managed to stay put on the Barn stage at Maverick Festival, we still don’t know!'
The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth
Sunday, March 18