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Alibi Picks

Worth Their Salt

Saltine Ramblers CD Release Party • The Handsome Family • Russell James Pyle and The Safety Committee

The Saltine Ramblers can tear off hoedowns, but that’s not the proof of their mettle. On their latest album, a fine version of Blue Grass Boys’ upbeat “Southern Flavor” is propelled by David Ivey’s double-tracked fiddle and mandolin in the style of Chubby Wise and Bill Monroe. Cory Minefee’s muted electric guitar answers proficiently, suggestive of classic country / western pickers like Smitty Smith. A cover of Joe West’s heartrending “Human Cannonball” stands in low-key counterpoint. As music boundaries crumble, decidedly un-country instruments like tubas or congas are awkwardly shoehorned into Americana. But here, Dave Payne’s squeezebox slides in effortlessly. Kevin Strange’s vocals aren’t typical country-croon smooth but possess an appealing matter-of-fact quality. Saltine's original “Y” kicks off as an upbeat stomper but effortlessly de-escalates into a soulful memory of lost love. Come on out to the release party for the barn dance, and stick around for downtempo numbers with depth and delicacy that may surprise you. Low Spirits • Sat Nov 3 • 9 pm • $8 • View on Alibi calendar