Larry and His Flask are rehabilitated punks from Oregon. What was started as a scream-fest trio is now a six-piece fleshed-out hillbilly band that puts a torch to bluegrass and country and folk. The kicker is: welter and wail as they will, the Flask (that’s what their fans call them) blend those durable five-part bluegrass harmonies of old with subjects such as homesickness, drinking beer, and dying of cancer. “I’ll turn your head in a fucking hole,” sings Jamin Marshall, himself a survivor of testicular cancer. “I’ll rip your mind out, I’ll burn your soul/ I am the anguish inside your brain/ I’ll fill you up with eternal pain.” That’s from 2008’s Gutted.
Cancer is a subject Flask members know all too well. Marshall looked at the bright side in “I Got Cancer Boi” (“Some might say it’s just not fair/ But at least I won’t have any body hair”), and earlier this year the Flask were host to a benefit show in Bend, Oregon, to raise funds for Marshall’s father Richard, who is battling with liver cancer.
There is no Larry in Larry and His Flask. It’s just another band name, along the lines of Pink Floyd or Jethro Tull. Brothers Jamin and Jesse Marshall, who plays upright bass, started the band in 2003. When singer/guitarist Ian Cook took over as front man, Jamin switched to drums. They added Dallin Bulkley on guitar, Kirk Skatvold on trumpet and mandolin, and banjo-trombonist Andrew Carew.
It was a chance gig with the Dropkick Murphys in 2010 that put the Flask on the fast track to larger audiences, as DM’s tour opener. Now on the road in support of last year’s All That We Know, Larry and His Flask is possibly the loudest acoustic band you’ll ever hear.
LARRY AND HIS FLASK: Van’s Warped Tour, Cricket Amphitheatre, Tuesday, August 9, 11 a.m. 619-671-3600. $36.