Deb’s Chesham House Concerts : The WIYOS

Join us for a lawn concert

August 17, Sunday at 4pm
$16.00 in advance. $18 day of concert.
Ages 10 – 16, $8.00, under 10 – free
In case of bad weather we will move to the Nelson Town Hall, Nelson, NH
For information, directions and reservations email or call 603-827-2905

Bring a picnic, lawn chairs, hats, sunscreen….whatever one needs to sit on the lawn in comfort and enjoy the music.

THE WIYOS play and compose Old-Timey American music inspired by the early American musical idioms of the 1920s and ’30s. Gleefully subverting genre distinctions, their music comes from a time before commercial formatting separated blues from country, ragtime from gospel, and swing from hillbilly.

With an instrumentation of washboard/harmonica/kazoo, resonator guitar/banjo, upright bass and three harmony vocals, THE WIYOS’ live performance transports audiences back to an era before TV and mass-media were the main sources of entertainment. Their sound is reminiscent of days-gone-by when live bands could be heard both on the radio and at community dances, juke joints, and house parties. With infectious exuberance and theatrical skill, they create a visual spectacle in the tradition of vaudeville-esque performers such as Fats Waller, the Hoosier Hotshots and Uncle Dave Macon. Their on-stage physical comedy recalls the silent films of Laurel & Hardy, Keaton and Chaplin.

Formed in New York City during the summer of 2002, THE WIYOS took their name from the toughest gang to prowl the streets of old New York (The Whyos, circa 1890). Like the traveling bands of the depression era, they have taken to the road full-time, touring extensively in the USA, Canada, France, The Netherlands and The United Kingdom. Playing theaters, bars, street corners, art auctions, pig roasts, and listening rooms, The Wiyos unique charisma transcends typical social boundaries. They appeal to everyone from hipsters to seasoned music connoisseurs, from children to bikers.

Everywhere they play, THE WIYOS charm and amuse audiences with their exuberant style of old-timey music, passionately carrying this rich musical heritage into the 21st century.

Upright bassist Joseph “joebass” Dejarnette grew up in the blue ridge mountains of Virginia and was obsessed with music from a very early age. He was given a victrola at age 4 and had a sizable collection of 78s by age 7 (selected mostly by smell and label design). He has worked with many groups as a bassist and recording engineer including Curtis Eller’s American Circus, the Jeff and Vida Band, The Mad Tea Party, The Luminescent Orchestrii, and many old-time stringbands up and down the east coast.

Michael Farkas (harmonica, washboard, kazoo, banjo, vocals) is a self-taught musician who has achieved expertise on a wide array of instruments. Originally from New York, his musical career has carried him to the shores of San Francisco, France and the streets of Spain where he built his reputation playing with such bands as Dog Talk, Ruckus, L’Producto, the Begat Companie, as well as performing with the internationally acclaimed clown Moshe Cohen.

Parrish Ellis (resonator & acoustic guitar, vocals) comes from Virginia where his first teacher turned him on to John Hurt, Doc Watson and Elizabeth Cotten. Since then he has continued to pursue his interest in country blues, studying the styles of Gary Davis and Blind Arthur Blake with Woody Mann. He also plays the banjo, bass, slide guitar, ukulele and Cuban trees.

The WIYOS on YouTube: