Hoots and Hellmouth sing for their supper
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
A Philadelphia band known for energetic club gigs has been performing lately in barns. The folk-rock outfit "Hoots and Hellmouth" played a series of shows on working farms as the last crops of the season were harvested.
The unusual venue is located on 40 acres in Charlestown, a tiny township near Phoenixville, where Liz Anderson grows just enough to supply 150 families with a box of produce every week. She says she wants to use open land to raise food for people.
People are not typically seen in the vicinity. Visitors usually see horses or corn and soybeans.The corn and soybeans go to commodity farms and usually become feed for livestock.
Unlike many touring bands fueled by fast food and vending machines, the members of Hoots and Hellmouth are foodies on a mission. Lead singer Sean Hoots says for a few weeks out of the year he leaves his fan base in the cities and plays on farms like the one in Charlestown which practice sustainable agriculture.
"This is to put our money where our mouth is," says Hoots. "It's a celebration of the harvest season, a long season of working in the soil."
This isn't the usual venue for the band which is more on the road than off. For starters, they don't make any money at these gigs – Hoots says he gets paid with a potluck dinner.
And the remote location means the band's base of regular fans will not make it out. These shows are intended for organic farmers, their families, and the neighbors who eat what they grow. Brian Moyer, a nearby farmer, says it's a time to celebrate that the growing season is coming to a close.
"This is our community, this is our people, it's celebration of local food and local music," says Moyer.
As self-proclaimed foodies, the band members say that stomping out music on the soil where their food comes from is their way of promoting sustainable eating.