Members: Matt Baldwin, guitar and vocals; Ryann Lynch, fiddle; Colin Reeves, mandolin and banjo; Garry Slick, bass
Who we talked to: Baldwin, 30
How did you guys meet? Three of us - Colin Reeves, Garry Slick and myself - were members of a group called Lost Generation Bluegrass (Band). We were performing at (Camp Jam in the Pines last year). After the festival, we like to kind of cut loose a little bit, stay up pretty late and get a little rowdy. Around 3 (a.m.), Ryann Lynch, our current fiddler, was walking up the road and just joined in the impromptu jam session. Within minutes of getting together, we decided we wanted to add her to the group. We formed HogMaw pretty much on the spot. It was just one of those rare things when the planets align.
Does that happen a lot at Camp Jam? Nobody sleeps. (Laughs) It's one of those places where you sit around a camp fire and just kind of cut loose.
Camp Jam takes place in Medford Lakes, N.J.. Is Lynch local? Actually, she's from New Jersey. She lives in the Philadelphia area. She actually works at (The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) as a music therapist.
Does the distance make it tough to schedule practices? It does make practices a little more difficult, but we're making it work. We do a kind of every-other-week thing where . . . we'll either go out there or she'll come out here. Our mandolin player actually also moved to Philadelphia a couple months ago. They carpool together and save on gas costs.
How did you decide on the name HogMaw? We actually went around and around for months and months. Hog maw was one of those things that just . . . sounded like we're from York.
Have you ever eaten hog maw before? I personally have not eaten hog maw. I know that Garry's family has a tradition of having hog maw on New Year's Day. So, at least somebody in our band has eaten hog maw. Apparently, it's pretty good. It's just roast sausage and potatoes and all sorts of goodies, and they just use the pig's stomach. Maybe we'll have a hog maw and HogMaw show someday.
How are things different from Lost Generation Bluegrass Band? Actually, I think we're a completely different band. (With Lost Generation) we had really focused strongly on being very traditional. There (are) good things and bad things about that. One of the things that we really wanted to do was not necessarily limit ourselves from one particular genre. All of us come from a very wide background of musical influences . . . from heavy metal to jazz to . . . Frank Zappa. We kind of put all these things together along with our bluegrass roots. We really didn't want to tick off anybody that was a bluegrass purist or anything. We have tremendous respect for bluegrass music in this area. We really wanted to . . . take that idea of bluegrass and put our own spin on it . . . definitely leaning much more toward . . . the jam band sound.
Does the violin add a different element? That just changed our whole setup. Colin and Ryann are able to play off one another so well. It's almost like they're having a musical conversation with each other. They can just trade licks back and forth . . . really effortlessly. (Lynch) is every bit as good as anyone else in the band.
Is it fiddle or violin? Well, it's the same thing. More than anything, it's how it's played. You wouldn't sit down at the York Symphony Orchestra and say I'm first fiddler. (Laughs)
Are you looking to go regional now that two of your members are in Philly? When we first started, we were playing around York pretty much exclusively. We had a regular gig at The Glad Crab in Dallastown. Then, we have this show (at Philadelphia's North Star Bar), which is really big deal for us. It's a major club in Philly. Fall Out Boy played there in November. It's just an honor to be a part of that, and the fact that it's St. Patrick's Day (helps).We have been booked at a couple music festivals this summer, including the Camp Jam in the Pines again. I don't think York is necessarily separate from the greater Central Pennsylvania/Philadelphia music scene.
Do you know any of the other bands on the lineup? We're familiar with the band Butterjive. They're out of Allentown. We're kind of fans of theirs. The other two, we're not so familiar with, but it should be an interesting evening.
I'm guessing you're going to play some traditional Irish tunes? I think maybe one or two. It's not a tremendously long set. We're definitely going to play some of our best material . . . and mostly original music.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF
If you go
HogMaw performs at 9:30 p.m. March 14 at the North Hanover Grill, 37 N. Hanover St. in Carlisle.