I also really admire people who play musical instruments I've never heard of.
Denise Zito, who's written two fine Civic Soapbox essays, has a musician daughter, Suz Zito Slezak, who does both. That's her, pictured below, making music on something called a Donkey Jawbone. (She also fiddles and sings harmony). Beside her are David Wax (middle) and Jordan Wax, the two other members of the band The David Wax Museum. They are one of those bands that is never not playing gigs -- which is, after all, exactly what it takes to get your music out there. (check out their the band's large presence in NPR's Here and Now story on Mexico-centric Indie rock)
These three folks describe their band as a a "jarana-strumming, donkey jawbone-whacking, accordion-pumping folk group out of Boston." Their website describes the David Wax Museum as "infus[ing] Mexican son into its literary, countrified folk rock." A donkey jawbone (quijada), by the way, is a traditional Mexican percussion instrument and a jarana is a small Mexican guitar. The David Wax Museum's music, in other words, is music that's never seen the inside of a box.
WMRA really is a community operation. A listener happened to hear Suz's band in Staunton and took pains to let me know that she'd been entranced, to put it mildly. Then another listener let me know that the David Wax Museum is one of three finalists in competition to appear at this year's Newport Folk Festival. As we do get by with a little help from our mother's fellow public radio station listeners, I got Suz's phone number, called and asked her to let me know what the deal was. Here's what she e-mailed back:
I would never, ever use this blog to suggest that you do something. But I do think it's part of this blog's mission to let you know what is going on out there in WMRA Land -- including the Boston branch of it!
So, if you are so moved, give The David Wax Museum a listen and take it from there . . .