You may have caught them busking during last year’s King Biscuit Blues Festival. You certainly couldn’t miss them. Both multi-instrumentalists separated by decades, Rachel Ammons and Smilin’ Bob Lewis deconstruct the blues into a primal, raucous four on the floor attack of sawing fiddle, finger-picked guitar and trance-inducing bass drum. Shockingly tight one verse and gleefully atonal the next, the duo is definitely the most left-of-the-dial semifinalist of the whole shebang.
Think: Leadbelly acing the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. (Or check out this video of them, filmed by Times photo superhero Brian Chilson.)