Roots experimentalists in the tradition of the Band, Neil Young, Dr. Dog, and The Avett Brothers, Yard Sale’s fluent playing and roughhewn, uncorrected vocal virtuosity often transcends folk, approaching the sophistication of casual chamber music, but always in the service of sturdy, eccentric and emotionally stirring songs. Like the best of today’s smart indie Americana artists (including some of their Team Love Records label mates), Yard Sales plays freely with American myth, haunted spirits, and weird old styles but does so in a way that is less studied, less groomed, and more stylistically inclusive than many of their steadfastly retro peers.
Yard Sale is so named because they got their start playing on the back of a pickup truck at yard sales and taking a cut in exchange for the buyers they attracted, a habit that led to them eventually auctioning off their own possessions at club gigs until they ran out of stuff to sell. Playing progressive, multi-singer Americana and soul in New York’s mid-Hudson valley (Kingston, Woodstock), Yard Sale draws inevitable comparisons to home-region heroes Levon Helm and the Band. Like The Band, Yard Sale features one transplanted southerner in South Carolinian Taylor Davis (banjo/drums), a few native Canadians in Charlie Schikowitz (mandolin/fiddle) and Theo Schikowitz (upright bass), as well as one native New Yorker in Rick Birmingham (guitar/fiddle).