The night at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton began the way most nights at the Biscuit do - with a desperate search for a parking space somewhere in the strip malls of the Big Pink along Mizner Boulevard. But that spot secured, and a mid-length sojourn by foot later, the Biscuit provided a welcoming atmosphere, with Fat Mannequin picking along onstage.
After a little more than three years together as a band, the Short Straw Pickers celebrated the release of their debut album, Upon That Hill, Saturday night, headlining a bill that included both Fat Mannequin and fellow string-band Uproot Hootenanny.
Fat Mannequin, one of several side projects for the boys from the jam band the Heavy Pets, allows guitarists Mike Garulli and Jeff Lloyd to explore their acoustic side. Given the nature of Garulli and Lloyd's main act, though, there was a distinctly hippy vibe to this undoubtedly string-band night. And why not? The newgrass revivalists like Yonder Mountain String Band have always drawn from the jam-band crowd, and folk influences informed even the granddaddy of the genre, the Grateful Dead.