The Sunburned Hand of the Man is free-improvisational group whose musical output bears the most diverse musical influences out all the ‘New Weird America’. The band idealised when the members of the psychedelic punk band The Shit Spangled Banner, John Moloney, Rich Pontius and Rob Thomas decided to expand their sound into improvisational grounds. Their first album, Mind of a Brother (1997), the band pursued a free folk approach, adding a stronger rhythmic element. With 2000’s Jaybird, the band had achieved their trademark sound, described as ‘freak-funk’.
With a constantly changing cast of musicians (Keenan describes ‘a gang and a family in every sense of the way’), which includes Joshua Barkett and Ron Schneidermann, the band quickly became known for their wild live shows, blending drones, noise and improv with a punk attitude. Their set at the Brattleboro Free Folk Festival was one of the highlights. These artists are very prolific and partake in many offshoot projects, including collaborations with The Tower Recordings, Six Organs of Admittance and other rock or electronic-oriented artists.