"It all started in Athens, Georgia in 2001 during a most peculiar spell when 5 or 6 bluegrass bands circulated the town. Athens, which had spawned the B-52s, REM, Widespread Panic, and which at the time boasted hundreds of pop, rock, indie, and punk bands now was the home to a competing minority of bluegrass players. From this small scene emerged only one bluegrass band that would take their act out of town, first finding some national acclaim as finalists at the Telluride Bluegrass competition in 2002, 3, & 4- including 2nd place in 2004. In fact, in 2003 the band’s first album, Chaff Harvest was sponsored by Miller Light using prize awards from a local Battle of the Bands. The Packway Handle Band was on a roll and has continued to rack up a number of local awards over the next few years- even through the present.
In the beginning of 2006 the band went on the road full time, wowing audiences around the country with close 4-part harmonies and their dance around two tightly-spaced double condenser mics. Packway Handle has emerged at the national forefront of bands that use this “gather around the mic” style. Their second full length record “(Sinner) You Better Get Ready” was recorded this way. Theirs is not a mission to preserve historical styles-- it’s just how they do what they do the best. And what they do best is rooted in thought provoking songwriting, clever choice and arrangement of bluegrass traditionals and totally unexpected (even totally inappropriate) covers, all delivered with a crackling energy. If you get an idea of what Packway Handle is early in a show, you’ll probably change your mind several times before they’re done. But it’s obvious their enthusiasm and sense of humor are honest, and that what they do appeals to broad audiences, even those who don’t normally listen to bluegrass. Yeah, they play bluegrass instruments and hey, they even mostly play them in the bluegrass way, but you won’t find a whole lot of lyrics about rambling or trains or wagon wheels, and you’re not going to say you’ve heard this band before, unless you actually have."