The Wee Folkestra at The Monkey House January 2, 2016   Leave a comment

The Monkey House photo by Tim Lewis

The Monkey House photo by Tim Lewis


I had a great time seeing music last night at The Monkey House. I worked until 6:30, stopped at home for a bit of dinner and around 8:30 took the long walk to Winooski. I arrived just before 9, got settled in, and said a couple of hellos. Quickly, The Wee Folkestra took the stage and the music began to flow. With three guitars, a bass player, a musical saw, and four singers, they created a nice huge sound. The lack of a drummer kept it from rocking too hard, and added a folky edge, but when everyone was going at full tilt, they sounded like a mini orchestra. Most of the rhythms were done on guitar, with Joe Adler and Aya Inoue playing acoustic and Eric Segalstad playing electric. This left Eric Daniels a little room to explore on bass. Joe sang lead on some songs, Aya sang lead on some, Jackie Buttolph sang lead on one and Samara Lark Brown lead a couple too. Most songs had a lot of vocal harmonies and were sweet and powerful. Their hour long set was nicely received by the fairly full audience. The sound mix was great and Johnnie Day Durand‘s musical saw could easily be heard all the way through, and she got to play most of the lead parts. I really like Eric’s lead guitar playing, so having him do mostly rhythm on guitar and mandolin was a bit different, but the songs are really more about collaboration than just standing out on one’s own. Most, if not all, of the set was cover songs. I did not know, but thoroughly enjoyed, the first song. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These) followed and featured the saw playing the keyboard part. Ghost In This House was as achingly beautiful as always. Atlantic City was a fun singalong. Jackie belted out a strong version of Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel. Joe did his best Tom Waits on A Good Man Is Hard To Find. Ween’s Baby Bitch was fun, and featured a little bit of Eric playing lead guitar. They followed with a couple more that I did not know, but really enjoyed. They wrapped the night with O Mary Don’t You Weep which featured a nice full ending that kept easing its way down until it swept back into the full song for a bit, then really ended. Shortly after the show, I said a couple of quick goodbyes and took the long walk home. It always amazes me how much talent we have in this town and it’s so cool to see so many great musicians wonderfully combine in different bands. Thanks everyone!


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