The Worthless Son-in-Laws
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The Worthless Son-in-Laws

Boone, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Boone, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2004
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter




This band has no press


Album: Resplendent Verge

Album: No. 8 Wire

Album: Sort of Back to Having a Life

Various streaming tracks on websites and YouTube, 2004-present



By all rights, The Worthless Son-in-Laws should be a bluegrass band. First, there’s the grammatically incorrect, self-deprecating name, and then there’s the fact that they hail from the mountains of western North Carolina, the epicenter of acoustic flatpicking and the home of the late, great Doc Watson. And while there may be some whisper of Appalachian mountain influence, there’s no banjo to be found anywhere in this outfit, no whipsawing fiddles, no fiddled whipsaws, no mandolins, no dobros. The Worthless Son-in-Laws indie-rockify their astute Americana with major sevenths and open chord voicings in the vein of Arcade Fire, The Shins or early R.E.M., accompanied by The Jayhawks-ian vocals and Son Volt-ish rock grit and draped over liquid bass and solid beats. Melodies are king, layered with pop sensibilities and a side of oddity—imagine a Southeastern Calexico, a less pouty Ryan Adams, or maybe even a 21st-century version of Big Star. The lyrical content swings clear of common tropes but otherwise spans the map, literate and sometimes teasingly opaque, veering from thoughtful musings on the impending birth of a child (Crawl) to rocked-out New Zealand slang (Timaru Blues), from wry country songs about lost love (Heard You Got Married) to rousing calls for the overthrow of the .01% (Sleeping It Off). And then there's the where-did-that-come-from? character of New Shoes. —Andy Patton