The Bootleg Remedy
The brainchild of banjoist/multi-instrumentalist and ethnomusicologist David Gould, the Bootleg Remedy quickly gained renown in New York during the early 2000s among fans of traditional old timey string band, bluegrass, Dixieland, and Western swing. Reminiscent of acts like the Squirrel Nut Zippers and R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders, as much for their free-wheeling fun spirit as for their exemplary musicianship, the band had few obvious rivals in their masterful mixing of revered American forms.
Formed in Brooklyn in 2000, the Bootleg Remedy drew from a variety of musical backgrounds to form an incredibly vibrant homage to past sounds. Their first release, a self-titled romp through bluegrass and early jazz covers and a smattering of originals, garnered the band their first major critical breakthrough, as the band became one of New York City's only outlets for true downhome roots music. The follow-up, 2002's Cutting Time, further established the band as the leading lights in the re-creation of most joyous sounds of a bygone era, with Gould mixing in a few more originals and turning out a similarly focused and impeccably rendered set.
The group’s few 2013 appearances mark the band’s first reunion in many years. In the time apart, core Bootleg Remedy musicians have flourished: David Gould formed indie-chamber-pop band The Inner Banks along with drummer Jim Mansfield; Michael Gomez has developed his own group, Wormwood, as well as working with Natalie Merchant and regularly touring worldwide with Hazmat Modine; Michael Arenella has formed his Dreamland Orchestra, whose Jazz Age Lawn Parties light up Governors Island each summer; and other members have taken their talents to Athens, GA (fiddler Amanda Kapousouz), Ithaca, NY (guitarist Dave Yantorno), and Boston (Andrew Innes).
[Adapted from the All Music Guide bio originally written by Matt Fink]
|Originals – DAG 0802 – Release 11 November 2008
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Foreshadows of The Inner Banks, whose personnel evolved from this group, can be heard in these recordings of original material from 2001 and 2002: dark, moody pieces drenched in Americana. This collection, which offers Bootleg Remedy for the first time via download, starts slow and builds to a dixie-swing frenzy.
|Cutting Time – DAG 0202 – Release 2002
|The Bootleg Remedy – DAG 0101 – Release 2001
The New Yorker
"The ethnomusicologist, composer, and banjo player David Gould leads this Brooklyn-based band through a rousing set of bluegrass, Dixieland, and Western-swing songs in honor of its sophomore album, 'Cutting Time.' Tubas, trombones, violins, and kazoos are promised. Good times are assured."
"The Bootleg Remedy is one of those delightful bands that keeps on shifting like a kaleidoscope, refusing to remain in any one particular genre or style . . . All the musicians (14, in various combinations) have excellent technique and work together with precision, fun, and energy."
The Village Voice
". . . Covering an eclectic range, from tuba and fiddle to saw, with especially fine lap steel and clarinet. Their sound has been compared to Bill Monroe and Louis Armstrong, but closer in their gutty resolve, I think, are once-removed cousins of the masters, like the Band and the Mekons."