7.21.2010

The Woes and The Defibulators @ Ars Nova


The Woes have been on my radar only through word of mouth among the bands I write about like Langhorne Slim, o’death and Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned. I met Osei Essed at Brooklyn Bowl at Langhorne Slim show and realized we’ve crossed paths at other shows. It sometimes takes me a while to dot the I’s. So with that said, I made it a point to go uptown to Ars Nova.


The Woes bring an all one approach to there music combining genres of soul, punk gospel, blues, early folk and jazz with an impressive attention to details. With the exuberance of a funeral marchin jubilee, they played jazzy segments on saxophone, trumpet and french horn with bluesy riffs on guitar and banjo and rev-ed up action on the peddle steel guitar.

All the great musicianship centers around the deep vocals Osei Essed. His soulful straightforwardness blended and angst ridden thickness from down below the diaphragm creates an urgency of quick tight upheavals of rising howls, whoops and groans. The jubilant chorus of shouters from the brass section belt it up between blows added to the lively mix.

What was great for me was to really get a chance to hear their music in a venue that cares about sound. So I was able to fully appreciate the clarity and tight framework of their live set.

The Defibulators from Brooklyn bring tongue and cheek, Hee Haw antics and references to redneck country, pickups and truck stop a go-go to their blend of rockabilly home grown country rock. The six person group played a lively, theatrical and friendly set with excellent instrumentation and the outstanding voice of Erin Bru their only female member. All in good fun they played with a little help from their comedic puppet Buddy, a “human” version of Triumph the insult comic dog as the master of ceremonies. The Defibulators brought out all the stops including a comedic movie short about tour stash and the cops on the take looking for the shit.

Ars Nova is a small venue that cares. This was my second visit to the small intimate venue but a few of the groups I’ve featured on this site like Langhorne Slim, Geo Wyeth and Max Vernon have played there. Ars Nova provides a hub for emerging talent in music, comedy and theater. Getting the word out about this diamond in the rough should be paramount.

The Woes Flickr Set
The Defibulators Flickr Set

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