WFPK’s (91.9) first Winter Wednesday of the season opened at the
with two very different musical
groups and sounds. Clifton Center
Daniel Martin Moore’s excellent voice on the mostly low-key, laid-back songs was largely drowned out by the too-heavy percussion of the first set. Like the title of
album, “How It Fades”, my eyelids and I were fast fading. In fairness, the audience seemed to appreciate
Moore and his
back-up band more than I did so maybe my reaction had something to do with the
sound at our second-row seats. But my expectations were particularly low for
the next group about whom I knew nothing. Moore
burst onto the
stage and their sound knocked the sleep out of my eyes. I had gone to the
concert a blank slate. I came away wowed. David
They brought a variety of instruments, riotous appearances and a sound totally unexpected. Wax, with earthy vocals, played guitar and a small, guitar-shaped instrument that looked a little like a ukulele. He also channeled Jerry Lee Lewis on keyboard. On “Guesthouse”, also the name of their latest album, Wax seemed to channel Paul Simon’s vocals and rhythms.
Slezak played everything from accordion to keyboard, fiddle, bells, and a donkey jaw. She also has a fine voice. Together they and their band which included an upright base, percussion and what appeared to be a mandolin, performed a range of music with strong Hispanic roots, gospel and dance music. Will
contributed one strong guest song. By the time the set was ending the audience
was on its feet dancing and calling for more.
After the concert, a little research revealed that David Wax, and Sue Slezak combined Mexican-American and American and Irish folk music to produce a mind-bending genre of Mexo-Americana music.
The apparel choices of the band demand mention. Wax wore two toned-pants—the front aqua and the back black--with a wide, off-white belt and a short sleeve shirt with epaulet-type treatments. Slezak graced black jeggings and a floral, tropical-print bustier. And guitarist Charles Rivera wore what could have passed for a mechanic’s jumpsuit in royal blue with matching headband. By comparison, the other musicians’ clothing was not memorable.
The husband-wife team of Wax and Slezak credited not only WFPK, the
, and the band’s on-site support
team, but also an aunt and uncle back at their hotel who were caring for the
couple’s two-year old son. Our thanks also to all, including that aunt and
uncle for making this first Winter Wednesday concert most memorable. Clifton Center
This morning we enjoyed hearing “Guesthouse”, the album, with breakfast. The
’s web site
shows an extensive touring schedule. If they are playing at a venue near you do
yourself a favor and see them. If not, listen to at least one of their albums.
You won’t fade away. David