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THE WIYOS —BROKEN LAND BELL (Self-released)

www.THEWIYOS.COM Hmmm now this is a mite interesting. The Wiyos play a brand of music you could soon become addicted to, and as far as I know there is no cure. Their music is varied, and difficult to place a finger on as various influences have been absorbed by the quartet and it could be argued they do try and cover too many. The Brooklyn-based ensemble started out in 2002 as a trio, and have since gone from strength to strength as they embrace Piedmont Blues, Cajun, swing, old-timey, blues, jug band and country music. No matter what the style he music is guaranteed to be bright and cheery, and with a tour in support of Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp plus, an appearance at this year’s Glasgow Celtic Connections to their name they are picking up accolades and new fans at every turn. Plus, we now have the album Broken Land Bell to give an added impetus to their fan base! Making up the quartet we have Michael Farkas (vocals, harmonica, sound effects, Mbira, mouth trumpet), Parrish Ellis (vocals, archtop, resophonic guitar, guitar-banjo, banjo-ukulele), Joseph ‘Joebass’ Dejarnette (upright bass, vocal, Victrola) and Teddy Weber (vocals, console steel guitar, acoustic, electric, parlor guitar, alto horn and mouth trumpet) plus, guests Adam Matta and Sxip Shirey support. On first hearing and especially the opening two cuts I could detect some Paul Simon influence (no bad thing), and on occasions as they move from 1960s folk (‘Red Bird’ —one of their weaker tracks) to the country style of Hank Williams via a steel guitar, harmonica aided ‘Uncork The Whiskey’ to the Latin-esque ‘Valentina’ they cover a huge expanse of ground. It doesn’t stop here, either, as the boys cook up such fabulous delights as ‘Promenade’ and ‘Roll on Down The Road’; both are very in the Simon mode at his best come hard on the heels ‘All Aboard’. Steeped in pure as mountain dew, finger-picking fantastic vocal harmonies and oodles of fun it will rid your of the blues no matter what! Guaranteed and it costs very little. ‘Angeline’ is funky Cajun blues number featuring mouth music, harmonica, upright bass and more superb guitar. Meanwhile, the gentle, swing inflected ‘Green Bottle #6’ is another set to seep into your sense and bring a little sunshine into your life as ragtime and strains of Hawaiian music influence the band’s joyous output. Splendid stuff, like with Oliver I too would likewise more. Another helping, please!

Maurice Hope



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Comment by Editorial on February 8, 2010 at 15:47
live review of the Nottingham Show here http://flyinshoes.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-wiyos-the-maze-nottingham I heard great reports about the Glasgow Celtic Connections Show too.

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