David Wax Museum

David Wax Museum

When future music historians look back at the strong currents circulating between the Americas in the 21st century, they will find Los Lobos, Calexico, and a charismatic, lanky Missourian singing tight harmony with a Southern belle rattling the jawbone of a donkey. David Wax and Suz Slezak form the artistic core of the David Wax Museum, and together they fuse traditional Mexican folk with American roots and indie rock to create a Mexo-Americana aesthetic. Combining Latin rhythms, infectious melodies, and call-and-response hollering, DWM was hailed by TIME for its "virtuosic musical skill and virtuous harmonies" and has built a reputation among concertgoers all over the U.S, Canada, Europe and China for "kicking up a cloud of excitement with their high-energy border-crossing sensibility" (The New Yorker). With the release of Knock Knock Get Up (September 2012), David Wax Museum has reached a level of cross-cultural integration and musical fluency that allows them to speak electrifying and heartfelt poetry with a tongue that is wholly their own.

With a sound all their own and a stage show to match, Bombadil is, if nothing else, one of the freshest bands to emerge in a long time. Formed by Duke University alumni Daniel Michalak, Bryan Rahija and Stuart Robinson, this band draws on a unique mélange of influences to create a sound that is unclassifiable. The group Magnet Magazine deemed "a drunker, circus-reared version of The Band," was born in Bolivia, where Michalak and Rahija first met. The folk music indigenous to the region lit a creative spark and inspired the two to begin writing songs that incorporated international instruments and styles. That influence, paired with their collective backgrounds in Piedmont blues, psychedelic rock and Robinson's background as a classical pianist, stands as the driving force behind the band's unique sound.

Their songs range from straightforward rock to Bolivian waltzes; from heartbreaking, piano-driven laments on loss of life to swashbuckling, raucus marches; and the appeal of their live show is undeniable. With a core of electric / acoustic guitars, bass, piano and drums and appearances by harmonica, xylophone, organ, synth, saxophone, trumpet, viola, charango, glockenspiel, accordion, recorder and even zampona, the show is unlike anything else. When even half of the instruments on stage are sounding at once, it creates a wall of sound that seems to transport the room to another place.

All of the instrumentation, however, does not detract at all from the core of Bombadil-anthemic, concrete songwriting. Much like Ramseur Records labelmates The Avett Brothers and the everybodyfields, the complicated, endearing character of their songs keeps Bombadil grounded and guides the show seamlessly along. It is what allows them to carry a room, whether there are one hundred instruments on stage or just a single guitar and voice. It is what people connect to-and why they keep coming back.



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