Blending acoustic instruments, fast tempos, rich harmonies and rabble-rousing lyrics, The Haymarket Squares have been bringing punkgrass to audiences since 2009. “They’re smart. They’re funny. They’re raging against the machine in four-part harmony,” says the Arizona Republic of the group’s incisive lyrics and boundless live energy.
That same range of styles and emotions characterizes The Haymarket Squares’ new album, “Light It Up,” due for release in February 2016. It’s a 12-song summation of the band’s musical influences and lyrical concerns, with tasty dollops of polka, gospel and Latin percussion mixed into the group’s signature punkgrass sound.
Having played more than 500 shows in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, the 5-piece band will support their new album with a busy regional touring schedule, highlighted by a main stage performance at Arizona’s largest music gathering, the McDowell Mountain Music Festival (headlined by Beck and the Avett Brothers). And as winners the 2015 Pickin’ in the Pines band competition, The Haymarket Squares will play that festival’s main stage in the fall of 2016.
In 2015, The Haymarket Squares were nominated as Best Local Band by the Phoenix New Times, who called them “Phoenix’s original protest band”, and “one of the most distinctly talented groups in town.” And in 2010, less than two years after their humble Craigslist beginnings, The Haymarket Squares won the year-long “Train Tracks” band competition in Phoenix, beating out 50 other local acts.
The Haymarket Squares have provided direct support for such national acts as The Meat Puppets, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Greensky Bluegrass, MarchFourth!, Young Dubliners, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Old Man Markley, The Brothers Comatose and others.