Thursday, May 25, 2006:

The Roots Canal: The Wiyos

The Wiyos -- Sadie Green (Vamp of New Orleans)
I saw The Wiyos again last weekend. They're sort of a goodtime retro-roots trio that describes itself as "vaudevillian ragtime blues, hillbilly swing and old time country." There's a Gumby contortionist on stand-up bass; a Jolson-style lead singer who never speaks (he holds up signs instead) but carries a valise-full of harmonicas and kazoos and plays a mean washboard studded with various horns, whistles and bells; and a deadpan folk guitarist who used to play with my old friend Woody Mann and seems out-of-place because he acts so normal.

Anyway, they're fun. Enjoy this song from their new album.

Bonus track: This song has an interesting history of its own. It was written by jazzman Johnny Dunn back in the 1920s, became a staple of Western Swing and goodtime bands, and was brought back to life in the folk revival of the 1960s. I've always liked Jim Kweskin's version from his seminal 1965 album, Jug Band Music:
Jim Kweskin & The Jug Band -- The Vamp of New Orleans (Sadie Green).

[Hat Trick]
These are some fun tracks. And washboards are past due for a comeback.

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