Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers
January 23, 2010
Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers (BMUZ) is not your average folk band. Founded in 2006 by four Berklee College of Music students, BMUZ decided to do something really different. They combined Scandinavian music and a nyckelharpa with American Old Time music, four and five string fiddles and a jazz and bluegrass guitarist. The result? A contemporary string band filled with epic triple fiddles, catchy melodies and driving rhythms full of...
Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers (BMUZ) is not your average folk band. Founded in 2006 by four Berklee College of Music students, BMUZ decided to do something really different. They combined Scandinavian music and a nyckelharpa with American Old Time music, four and five string fiddles and a jazz and bluegrass guitarist. The result? A contemporary string band filled with epic triple fiddles, catchy melodies and driving rhythms full of raw energy and mashy quirk. Although they think of themselves as a musical unit, the members of BMUZ each have their own individual sound. Bronwyn Bird grew up performing in musical theater. As a teenager, she discovered a nyckelharpa hanging on a neighbor’s wall, and quickly fell in love with the instrument. While spending a year in Sweden studying Swedish music, she built the nyckelharpa she currently uses. Andy Reiner grew up in a musical family and spent his childhood attending music camps where he was exposed to a myriad of styles of folk and contemporary music. He can’t choose which genre he likes playing the most, so he tends to successfully mesh them all together. Stash Wyslouch thought he was going to be an engineer until quite recently. His music has moved from heavy metal to bluegrass and jazz and draws on his Columbian and Polish background and love of reggae and funky grooves for his quirky compositions. Mariel Vandersteel grew up playing traditional Irish, Scottish and Quebecois music at contra dances as well as touring with Alasdair Fraser and the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers and with the Black Brothers. Before Berklee, she spent her summers studying music in Ireland and across the US and has spent four months studying the hardingfele in Norway. Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers has performed across the country at the Kennedy Center (Washington DC), The Freight and Salvage (CA), Club Passim (MA) and the Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour (KY). After playing in the Emerging Artist Showcase at the 2008 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, they were voted back to perform as the 2009 FRFF’s Most Wanted Artists. Other festivals they have performed at are: Blissfest, Champlain Valley Folk Festival, the New England Folk Festival and the Boston Celtic Music Festival. They have had official showcases at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis, TN. and at the New England Regional Folk Alliance. Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers have been called, “an extraordinary group of wonderful young musicians” (Matt Glaser, Berklee College of Music) and as, “a band you can’t put a label on.” (Matt Smith, Club Passim). Many have called BMUZ the next generation of roots and folk music and they have been compared to other genre-breaking bands such as Crooked Still, The Duhks, and Vasen. According to Paul Hartman, editor of Dirty Linen magazine, “the next generation…shows that folk/roots music is in good hands and will continue to be played and evolve…Just a few of the younger artists are Carolina Chocolate Drops, Crooked Still, Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers…” BMUZ is a truly eclectic band that continues to skillfully and creatively push the boundaries of folk music. While combining old melodies with quirky new compositions, it will be exciting to watch BMUZ’s future blossom. They begin work on their first full-length record in early 2010, which will be produced by fiddler and songwriter, Laura Cortese. Admission is by donation, suggested minimum donation $12 at the door, $10 with advance reservation*, children under 13 & students with ID $5 *email notlobreservations @ gmail.com for reservations (at least 24 hours in advance) & for additional information. About the series. notloB Concerts are volunteer run and not for profit. Whether presented at historic and intimate museum houses like the Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain or the Jackson Homestead in Newton, or at one of several church venues, or at private residences, all are run as house concerts where, after expenses, 100% of the patrons’ donations go to the artists. More information about the concert series can be found at the notloB website, http://notlobmusic.googlepages.com notloB Folk Concerts Bringing traditional American, Canadian, British, and Celtic folk, folk revival, world, blues, roots and bluegrass/newgrass music to Arlington, Newton and Somerville. "In this era of pop-driven acoustic music, notloB is keeping the folk tradition alive." ~ Jack Hardy Dinner and a show! Phone ahead for reservations ~ 781-648-8882, present your printed reservation confirmation and get 10% off your dinner check at House of Tibet Kitchen, 235 Holland Street, Somerville, Ma 02144. Reservations recommended. And desert! Members of the Unity Church of God Church will be providing deserts, teas and coffee, so save room for desert.