Sunday, January 12, 2014

Folk Scene

The Whistling Wolves (photo/

 On any given night in small towns in New Jersey, old Dutch hamlets up along the Hudson Valley and deep into back streets of Brooklyn, infectious swirls of folk music set feet thumping and hands clapping in audiences that revel in Appalachian or old country roots.

These performers look a lot like your neighbors…until they pick up a banjo, mandolin, autoharp, guitar, bass, fiddle, ukulele, harmonica, and sing or whistle—and blow your socks off. These are superbly accomplished, seasoned folk singers who raise the roof in blues, bluegrass, gospel, Scots-Irish ballads, and old-time country music, not to mention their own creations.

The other night, the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club hosted two such memorable folk groups at the Community Center in Fair Lawn, NJ—Triple Play All-Stars and The Whistling Wolves. The first group included national and international autoharp champion Drew Smith, bluegrass banjo picker Rich Rainey and folksinger Robbie Wedeen. The second group featured Emily Eagan’s world-class whistling. Her band mates—Trip Henderson, Spiff Weigland and Chris O. Murphy—were adroitly and harmoniously mesmerizing on a barn dance variety of instruments.

So take a look and a listen to a couple of Whistling Wolves' renditions and a Drew Smith extravaganza:

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