Josh Erwin and Michael Paynter of The Packway Handle Band have started the side project, Sans Abri, arranging original songs that don’t necessarily fit the band’s bluegrass bill. The songs are a creative collaboration involving acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, percussion, and vocal arrangements. Expect an intimate set showcasing these two unique talents that have spent more than ten years together on the stage.
“What audiences will hear from Sans Abri will maintain a spiritual connection to Packway Handle’s rousing bluegrass-inspired folk, but with a distinct identity…As Sans Abri…they have also been able to distance themselves from the stylistic expectations associated with bluegrass. That alone has been worth the added challenge of keeping people engaged with fewer men onstage.” – Casey Phillips (Times Free Press) They joined us for our 5B series before their show on Friday at Eddie’s Attic.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
I think the first show I ever saw was Joe Satriani at the Fox in Atlanta in 1992…It was “The Extremist” tour. My Dad took me and my best friend at the time. I brought an Ibanez Guitar catalogue to see if I could ask Joe to sign it for me. Ended up meeting one of the ushers and he told me he’d get it autographed for me because he was going backstage after the show. Met up with him a week later to pick it up!
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
We have played tons of shows over the years all across the entire country and even in Europe with Packway. It’s always fun going to new places and to be treated well. I get alot of satisfaction playing shows that turn out to be a surprise for everyone involved; the band, the venue, and the audience. For example, there is great energy created when we show up somewhere new with low expectations about the total attendance in general or the venue only to find out the night has been sold out, the sound system is excellent, and the people love us! Whether it’s in Auburn, AL or Glasgow, Scotland, it’s the same feeling.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
This is too difficult to answer as to what the best show we’ve ever seen. Some of the most memorable shows are the ones that involve something no one could ever expect or predict would happen. I remember one of the first times I saw the Flaming Lips. I could never have told you that they would have aliens dressed up as Santa Claus dancing on stage during their set, or that Wayne [the lead singer] would be inside a huge human-sized hamster ball walking across the audience while the band was playing. There is another band called The New Orleans Bingo Show I’ve seen a few times over the years. There is a mixture of theatre, vaudeville, a Bingo Game [winner included], and a little David Lynch’s Twin Peaks all mixed up into one show. Too exciting, and very easy to get wrapped up in the moment during their set!
What is the gig you would most like to play?
It would be great to play Merlefest, The Hangout Fest, or the re-established Music Midtown in Atlanta.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
The Moog Fest in Asheville, NC usually has a good lineup…DEVO, Carribou, Thievery Corporation played last year. Kraftwerk would be a good addition to the roster, so would Washed Out and Reptar, and of course Sans Abri!
Catch Sans Abri, August 3rd @ Eddie’s Attic