If there were a competition among local bands to see which one is most likely to woo your woman, a likely front-runner is an almost brand-new trio, The Thank You Ma’ams, who play their clunky punk-folk music across town, anywhere from your standard shindig to your standard laundry mat or your standard land-fill. The fellows released their first sampler, Handkerchief EP, through Country House records earlier this summer to add to the raucous they’re creating.
Equally led by all three members, The Thank You Ma’ams, comprised of Nathan Vanderpool, Greg Stephen and Hank Parker Pruitt, switch vocal duties as well as their two acoustic guitar/banjo instrumentation among themselves throughout the set, creating a sound similar to Langhorne Slim’s band, the War Eagles, but the voices of Greg Stephen and Nathan Vanderpool keep it distant enough from that to alleviate any concerns.
Starting off, the cleverly titled “Miles and Miles of Nothing but Miles and Miles” bangs out with over-zealous guitar strums beside a clunky-plucking banjo rhythm, while the bass, played by Taylor Lonardo for the Handkerchief recording sessions, sounds like a loosely strung and rattling upright walking along with the rest. The words of “Miles and Miles . . .” introduces one of the two lyrical notions in Handkerchief by handing out wisdom for the sake of the young man, as their declaration, “Never get old,” is sounded proudly and backed by a harmonizing chant from everyone during the chorus. The next song on the EP, “Last Week,” adheres to the “young man wisdom,” too, but in a much smaller minute-and-a-half window of time.
The other lyrical notion is about the girl. The song, “Jubilee,” is a beautifully slow-paced example of pining for the girl so blatantly called Jubilee as the four (Lonardo on the Jaw harp this round) soothingly pick the three instruments atop one another and hum harmony over Stephen’s crooning rasp. The following track, “Devil Knows It’s True,” is another about-the-girl tune, but quicker, again, and to the point: “Baby, I love you and the Devil knows it’s true,” just like a young man would be wise to.
The Handerkerchief EP is available to download at thethankyoumaams.bandcamp.com or iTunes. Word of a full length album has been circulating, so for updates and live shows, check out their Facebook page or stop by your local laundromat for a wash. They may be in there pickin’.