I love The Wiyos


I love The Wiyos. Based out of Brooklyn, NY, they are a self described, “Vaudvillian-Ragtime-Jugband-Blues & Hillbilly Swing” band. The band consists of Joseph “Joebass” DeJarnette on upright bass and vocals; Parrish Ellis on resonator and archtop guitars, guitjo, banjo, ukulele, and vocals; Michael Farkas on washboard, harmonica, kazoo, vocals, and sound effects; and the newest member, Teddy Webber (whose other bands include The Hunger Mountain Boys and The Blue Ribbon Boys) on steel guitar, guitar, and vocals. Check ’em out at www.thewiyos.com or www.myspace.com/thewiyos 


I saw them this past weekend with my friend. They were playing at Common Fence Point Community Hall in Portsmouth, RI on Saturday night. My friend’s grandparents live in New Bedford, MA, which is only a 30 min. drive from Portsmouth, so we stayed with them after the show. And what a show it was… I have the utmost admiration and respect for The Wiyos. They are all master musicians and sincere, interesting, and lovely people as well. You could go to three shows in a month, and you wouldn’t get bored because they have such an impressive repertoire, and they play each song completely different each time anyway.  Every time I see them, I love them a little more. I don’t know how that’s possible, considering I love them the most I can already, but somehow it’s true. The crowd at the community hall loved them too. During the song “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out,” a number of people in the audience couldn’t stop themselves from crying. That’s the magic of The Wiyos, and I say magic because that’s exactly what they create. They make you laugh, and make you cry. They make you smile, and dance. They capture your heart and spirit, and it makes you want to follow them everywhere. Oh wait, is that just me???


Sometimes I feel self-concious for being such a “groupie” if you will, and traveling from state to state to see them. But then, all I have to do is hear the first precious note, and whatever worries I may have had get washed away. If I had millions of dollars, I’d buy a castle in Europe somewhere, preferably Ireland. Then I’d invite my family and closest friends to live with me. What does this have to do with The Wiyos, you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I would then pay for all of my favorite bands to fly to my castle, and I would host them for a short time, feeding them meals prepared by my personal chef.  All I would ask in return is that they play each night for the rest of my guests. The Wiyos would be the first band, followed by The Hunger Mountain Boys, The Second Fiddles, Boulder Acoustic Society… You get the idea. In the meantime, I guess I’ll just continue following all of them around. And you can bet I’ll do just that. Next up, the triple-bill of a lifetime: The Wiyos, The Hunger Mountain Boys, and The Two Man Gentleman Band!!! Sellersville, PA, here we come!

But back to Saturday night: At the end of the show, The Wiyos were called back for two encores! The entire crowd was clapping, whistling, stomping their feet… For their encores, The Wiyos brought their instruments down off the stage and played acoustically at the front of the hall. Joebass ran around, and played his bass solo in the back of the room, Michael picked up random objects off the tables in front of him, like beer bottles, to make sound effects with… It was wonderful. That’s one of the many things I love about The Wiyos. They can go from playing a house concert, to an upscale bar in Brooklyn (like Joe’s Pub, where they played a double-bill with The Hunger Mountain Boys the night before), to a community hall in Rhode Island where everyone brings their own dinner in picnic baskets, complete with wine and beer. No matter what the situation, The Wiyos are completely comfortable. And you can be sure that no matter where you see them, it’s sure to be a great show.


Check out the videos:

Everybody Loves My Baby

Russian Lullaby

Let’s Misbehave

Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out






About this entry