The Wiyos do a lot of different things. And they do all of them well. But their roots are in the kind of music America produced in the early part of the 20th century: country blues, ragtime, and western swing. They expand upon those roots with touches of modern sounds like beatboxing and hip-hop. The result is a unique mix of old and new, going in unpredictable directions.
Michael Farkas and Parrish Ellis got together to write a few songs. They enlisted Joe Dejarnette to record some songs for them, and he jumped in and started playing upright bass for them. They named themselves after a gang that ran the lower east side of Manhattan during the 1800s (though they changed the spelling from “Whyos” to “Wiyos”). They took off on tour, racking up hundreds of thousands of miles on the road. They solidified their sound, but also developed a need to tinker with it. More albums followed, eventually leading to them hooking up with beat boxer Adam Matter and circus/theater composer Sxip Shirey. The result of that collaboration is Broken Bell Land, their newest, and freshest album. With the album released, the band set their sites towards touring again, though this time they had company. They’re in the midst of a 28-date tour with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and John Mellencamp.
“Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You”, live
“Tennessee Tango”, live
Download Broken Land Bell