The Tillers went from Punk howlers to Folk buskers to scene heroes to CEA winners in an impossibly short time frame; it’s like they erupted from a hillbilly Zeus’ head fully formed. Their first album, Ludlow Street Rag, showed which artists they loved; their next one, the exquisite By the Signs, showed who and what they had become. The Tillers are troubadours who sing about love and the road and despair and triumph and life and death and beauty and the mountain. Big emotions and small observations sung at rafter-rattling Saturday night volume and with church-whispering Sunday morning reverence. The Tillers are a marvel, every show, every song, every note. Get wet, you will believe.
You’ll Dig It If You Dig: Woody Guthrie and Johnny Cash haunt the instruments, Hank Williams haunts the bars. (Brian Baker, CityBeat)