Music News

Haymarket Squares Win Train Tracks Finale and Nab Mainstage Gig at MMMF

Give a hearty high-five to the members of the Haymarket Squares the next time you see them around town or performing at Lost Leaf, as the punkgrass/alt-folk act emerged victorious during the Train Tracks Grand Finale this past weekend.

More than 2,000 people attended the First Friday battle of the bands held at the Phoenix Art Museum, which served as the final round in a year-long competition between the most popular bands/musicians featured on the Train Tracks online video series.

The Haymarket Squares (consisting of strummers Mark Sunman, John Luther Norris, and Marc Oxborrow) received the majority of the votes of those in attendance, besting fellow finalists Matthew Reveles and Fancy Cloud, Dust Jacket, and Dry River Yacht Club.

And to the victors go the spoils, in this case a gig performing onstage at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in a few weeks.

The band have been crowing about the triumph on the Facebook page ever since learning of ther good fortune:

"Guess which band of scrappy punkgrass hoodlums is playing at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival? That's right, thanks to your support, the Haymarket Squares are going to be playing with the big boys and girls in April."

Originally, the prize was for a similar spot at Tempe Music Fest, but was obviously updated after that concert went kaput last month. In some respects, said changeover is a boon to the Haymarket Squares, as their leftist, rabble-rousing Americana agit-prop will fit in nicely with all the dreadheads and granola munchers who constitute the annual audience of the MMMF.

It's certainly better than getting hit in the head with a beer bottle while performing, which is probably would've happened when TMF's increasingly fratboy-filled crowd caught whiff of one of the Haymarket's old-timey protest songs.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.