Cold River Ranters, Milk House Heaters bring ‘Americana folk jive’ to BF on Aug. 22

BELLOWS FALLS — The Cold River Ranters, who describe their sound as “hot gonzo primitive folk jive,” are returning to Bellows Falls in a joint appearance with The Milk House Heaters on Thursday, Aug. 22.

Combining American roots with a taste of the third world, the Ranters deliver melodies steeped in the cultural traditions of Appalachia, Ireland, Celtic Brittany, Africa, and south Asia. The band's lyrics certainly are one of a kind.

The Cold River Ranters are Skillet Walker of Lemspter, N.H., powering the sound on steel resonator guitar and vocals; Tom Jawbone of Keene and Acworth, N.H on banjo, flute, bagpipes, penny whistle, bones, jug, jaw harp and vocals; Nattie Carroll of Keene and Acworth on accordion and washboard; and Marek Bennett, who drives thumping bass lines on a 35-gallon steel drum with a banjo head and strings coming out of it.

The Milk House Heaters are husband and wife Mike and Jan Sheehy, refugees from the Boston punk and new-wave scene, who now make their home in Saxtons River.

Their heartfelt Americana stylings are buttressed by vocal harmonies in the Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris tradition, and their knack for catchy songwriting is on fine display on their debut disc, “Farmhands & Factory Girls,” released in June on a serious tide of word of mouth.

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