Although most people's copies of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack have been gathering dust for a couple of years now, mountain music is not dead. The Hackensaw Boys, who have recently toured with everyone from Cheap Trick to Modest Mouse, are doing everything in their power to keep it alive.
In Love What You Do, the six "brothers" mix together all the stylings of country, bluegrass and mountain music with sprinklings of rock, gospel and punk to create something that is held together by sheer enthusiasm. The soft strums of "Sun's Work Undone" and "Alabama Shamrock" recall Uncle Tupelo, while the rollicking "Cannonball" makes one want to drop some hay in the living room and have a hoedown.
Being mountain boys, the Hackensaws are excused for the idealism that creeps into their music. They drench their songs with so many strings and vocals, they make up in passion what they lack in range and are forgiven anyway. And it takes a lot to make a song like "Kiss You Down There" -- about a boy trying to convince a girl to come in the back of his truck with a jug of wine and have oral sex -- sound wholesome. Somehow, they do it.
The Hackensaw Boys play Smith's Olde Bar Thurs., Oct. 27, 8 p.m., with the Rounders. $10-$12. 1578 Piedmont Ave. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com.