The Hillbillies impart their sense of fun with music and the music is
Old Time Herald
With a new album that comes close to capturing its charm, this Bay
Area quartet isn't really as weird as its name implies.
Mandolinist/guitarist Paul Kotapish, fiddler Ray Bierl, fiddler/banjo
player/bagpiper Kevin Carr, and keyboardist Daniel Steinberg attempt
to keep the folk dance music tradition contemporary. While the bottom
line is providing music for square and contradancing (American and
Celtic fiddle music), the Hillbillies manage to work in Latin and
African rhythmic elements, rock, swing and even folk and jazz, in a
show that makes as rewarding a listening as dancing experience.
Larry Kelp, East Bay Express
The Hillbillies From Mars, with an Earth base in the San Francisco
Bay Area, play avant-traditional dance music from the hippest corners
of the galaxy. They will be freshly back from their contradance tour
of Russia and the Ukraine. Kevin Carr plays great fiddle, banjo, bodhran
and astounding Irish bagpipes. Ray Bierl is amazing on fiddle and
guitar. A fine singer as well, Ray will also lead singing sessions.
Daniel Steinberg is widely regarded as the most dangerous keyboard
player in traditional dance music, plays fine flute and percussion and
will teach French traditional dances. Paul Kotapish plays passionate
and driving mandolin and guitar that you will just have to hear to
-- Alta Sierra Festival
Kevin Carr, Paul Kotapish, Ray Bierl, and Daniel Steinberg comprise the redoubtable
Hillbillies From Mars, one of the West Coast's most notorious dance bands. As their name
suggests, the `Billies have a deliciously disrespectful, eclectic approach, and this (their
premier recording), not only swings but is full of zest, playfulness and pleasant surprises.
Roll back the rug and have some fun!
Elderly Instruments Hot Platters!
Big favorites on their home planet, their name says it all: exciting,
inventive, traditional dance music from the San Francisco Bay Area and
-- Camp Wannadance
Their new album HILLBILLIES FROM MARS is among the freshest and
musically diverse tradition based albums we've heard around here in
-- Freight & Salvage
This band could probably get dead people to dance. Rhythmically
savvy and musically sly, this California dance band is rock-solid and
devilishly funny. Some arrangements come straight from Mars, others
sucker you into expecting something normal before blasting off. Kevin
Carr and Ray Bierl rip it up on hot fiddle duets and each add one vocal
to the otherwise all-instrumental affair. Carr also juggles banjo,
guitar, uilleann pipes, and more. Paul Kotapish switches from loping,
rolling guitar to truly incendiary mandolin picking. Daniel Steinberg
fills things out with a kitchen sink full of keyboards, flutes, and
things. The tunes, American, Canadian, Irish, French are mostly
unusual and the Hillbillies freely let their world music influences
leak into their sets, constantly tossing in asides from Cuba, Africa,
the Swing Era, wherever, so by the time you get to the French
Canadian-via-Zimbabwe Old Man Old Woman nothing will surprise you.
Here's a party album for any kind of party.
-- Danny Carnahan, Roots & Rhythm
The Hillbillies are one of the goofiest bands around, full of energy that is always transferred on to the
dancers during a live performance. This CD is a trifle quieter than a dance, and includes some reflective
Bourrées and a nice waltz. The tunes are southern in flavor, and well-executed. Besides, who can resist a
tune entitled "The Full Catastrophe."
Lisa's Dance Music CD Reviews