Friday Night Music: Under the Radar, and Way Under the Radar

In my first post I told you that I admired talented musicians whose devotion to their craft outweighs their quest for fame and riches. The Wiyos, named after an 1880’s street gang in New York City facetiously refer to themselves as ‘the next ragtime, jug band, minstrel supergroup’. Cats and I have seen them play several times, when they venture out of their Brooklyn digs to perform elsewhere. You don’t often come across washboard players as talented as Michael Farkas.

Every major city has a ‘hot club’ band, playing the Django Reinhardt inspired hot jazz out of Quintette du Hot Club de France. Paired with Stephane Grapelli, this formative group played some of the most original jazz of the era from the French gypsy tradition. Le Hot Club de ma Rue toil in and around Montréal. I almost got them to play at a Meals on Wheels fundraiser when I was director in Pottstown, PA. One of my staff spoke French, but a long delay prevented us from moving forward. In any case, they are pretty damn good.


78 thoughts on “Friday Night Music: Under the Radar, and Way Under the Radar

    • Also by the Lovin’ Spoonful.

      We gave ‘im little water; a little bit of wine
      he opened up his eyes but they didn’t seem to shine
      And the doctor said give him jug band music
      it seems to make him feel just fine

      Jug Band Music

  1. Hey! Where did all these Henri, The Cat videos come from in my ‘Recommended Titles’ section?

  2. Set in Baltimore in 1953, Kiss Me Kate had this song about the steamy summer night, a night before air conditioning was widely available.

  3. A couple lesser known bands. First we have Cake. No washboard but we do have a horn, maracas, and a vibraslap.

    Then we have King’s X. One of my favorite bands that many people have never heard. Their use of harmonies in “hard rock” was really groundbreaking.

  4. I watched this woman perform at The Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Oregun 2002 and she scorched the grassy knoll. Chocolate was redefinedto CHOCOLATE THUNDER!…

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