I went to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula to attend a wedding (my lovely cousin’s), not to hear music. But the American musical Diaspora is so vast that I heard some great music anyway, on the street and in front of the barn.
The streets of downtown Port Townsend yielded an impromptu gig by the DiTrani Brothers, who describe their influences being “western and eastern-European folk music, Roma swing (gypsy jazz) and early American jazz.” And that’s exactly what they sounded like. There was a guitar (Walker DiTrani) an accordion/banjo (Bobby DiTrani), a drummer (Eddie Gaudet) and a washtub bass player (Dana Anastasia Hubanks). Together, they made music with those influences, plus klezmer, maybe, quite apparent—not your usual street music fare! If Django was a Jewish Italian and resident in Montenegro…I captured this video:
The Brothers have a Facebook page here. Influences include: St. Cinder, Lost Dog Street Band, G-String Orchestra, Resonant Rogues, Ladies on the Rag, Crowquill Night Owls, Carolina Catskins, Folkfaces, Kyle Ollah. I haven’t heard a one of ‘em, but I’m sure they’re all great. They also like Tom Waits, Django (of course), Cab Calloway and Freddy Taylor.
The wedding band was, well, a bit different. The Delta Rays don’t play “Celebrate” or, in fact, any getting-hitched music at all. Their repertoire was Cajun (the vocalist/guitarist doubled on fiddle, and the keyboard player on accordion), jump blues, and early rock-and-roll. I wish I got their names but, you know, it was a wedding.
They started playing in the late afternoon, as a spectacular cloud formation gathered over the garage. Check out the video; the Delta Rays got people dancing. Here’s a fine instrumental, answering a request for something with a klezmer feel.
Great music is where you find it. I found it on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. The wedding took place on the couple’s new homestead, with 60 acres of temperate rain forest. Incredible views!