Chalk it up to the Fomorians.

We played the Montrose Saloon last night. A late-night, Black Friday show at one of Chicago’s funkiest, friendliest, music-meccas. We were on a bill with acoustic opener Rollo Time and one of our favorite bands Flapunco – think flamenco inspired shredding/Led Zepplin-like/Dark-Cabaret/Punky-Rock/Power Trio fronted by Freddy Krueger’s Daughter. Freaky-cool.

We played last. Our 7 piece band over-flowed across the stage. We have a big, nuanced, layered sound, maybe too much for that little stage. Lots of sound issues. Feedback, weird over-tones, at one point the vocal mics died.

Chalk it up to the Fomorians. Our favorite Shamanic Practioner, Joan Levergood was in the audience, she had past battles with those freaky beings, and well, we surmised that those ancient Irish creatures, “hostile and monstrous beings from under the sea or the earth” came out on Black Friday to mess with us. Shopping be damned!

It was an intense and frustrating show. You can’t expect perfection, but you do always see it out there dangling in the golden abyss. The highlight of the night? An audience member who usually exclusively listens to classical music, sat through our set and really took it to heart. Afterwards he remarked our music was “21st Century Druid Music.” What to say? Yes. Fabulous. – Jammer

Drawing by:  TipsyRA1d3N @ Deviant Art

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The is the Lovely Carla Hayden (with trusty shaker, and flower lapel), and I at The Remember Knots 10 year anniversary show last Saturday at the Store. The Knots are a truly wonderful band, we were honored to be a part of a thrilling night of music. Here is the WWSP Acoustic Duo. New band motto: “We do have hair!” One of the highlights, playing and singing Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” with The Remember Knots. It was heavenly! – Jammer

Photo by Zoya Sirota

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This last Saturday we performed at Jarvis Square Pottery, one of our absolute favorite places to perform, no doubt. It was an evening of cold temps, “Biblical,” Noah-style-rain and warnings of flash floods. The nasty weather slimmed the turnout for the show.

Past shows at the storefront have either been perfectly-stuffed with enthusiastic folks, or in one remarkable case (our CD release show), wildly-over stuffed. This time only the essential folks braved the elements. Anyone who really, really wanted to be there, was there.

Life. It’s a strange sort of math. Turns out Biblical Rains + Thinner Crowd = Magical Show! No knee or elbow knocking. Just an amazing collection of folks open to the moment. Coming in from the rain, the first thought stepping inside the storefront was Dylan’s line: “Come in she said, I’ll give you, shelter from the storm.” 

There were many beautiful moments. Liam Heneghan reading his fairy tale, “Ronan & Liadain, The Otter: A Fairy Tale,” Carla Hayden reading Federico Garcia Lorca, Shamanic Practitioner Joan Levergood leading an Invocation to the Spirit of Music, Victor Sanders playing ethereal, magical, other-worldly guitar, and a Shaman-inspired, totally-improvised, drum circle comprised of a rag-tag mix of musicians and audience members; powerful, inspiring, transcendent.

Oh yeah, and our band played a full set too. We worked in some new songs, and Carla semi-rapped Edgar Allan Poe – “All that we see or seem, is but a dream, within a dream.”

It was all so beautiful. Post-show comments on the night: “magical,” “brave,” “wonderful,” “a masterpiece,” “thrilling,” and “one the best spiritual experiences I’ve ever had.”

Not bad. Conjuring vibes, a worthy endeavor. I mean, rain or shine, it’s the good work.

Jammer

paul bick b&w Oct 26 show Jarivs

Photo by Paul Bick

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at space

The calm after the storm. This was a storm of our own making. We played at the fabulous Evanston SPACE on Wednesday Sept. 4. It truly is one of the great music rooms. SPACE puts on more than 300 shows a year, acts from all over the country. Photos of past performers on the walls of the Green Room include: Richard Thompson, Lucinda Williams, Lone Bellow, Alabama Shakes, Stanley Clark.

Our show felt like some kind of culmination. I’m not very good on reflecting what we’ve accomplished, I am much more focused what we are gonna do, but this night brought together so many people that we have met over the years, folks we’ve worked with, performed with, rambled and rocked with, so many of our creative fellow-travelers and inspirers from the world of theater, music, art, plus all those folks from our typical day to day. Our lives flashed before our eyes. It was sort of marvelous. We do have the best fans, no doubt.

The Lovely Carla and I could really feel the love in the room. It was a wave that washed over our band. One person commented, “You were all so on.” It’s true, that’s how it felt to us too, we felt pretty tight, the first song, “So Clear,” kicked off and the set ran out ahead of us like a wild stallion. We held on for all it was worth.

We truly possessed the moments as they rolled out.

It was awesome to share the night with our good friends Ex Maquina! Our two bands promoted the hell out of the show, and amazingly, we filled that room nearly to the brim. It’s Friday morning, the morning after the morning after, the calm after the storm. I’m sipping coffee and listening to Jackson Browne’s “Late for the Sky,” one of those great, moody, reflective records. I mean, I don’t think I’m late for anything, but these words dance in my consciousness, this a.m. and it feels so right:

“How long have I been sleeping
How long have I been drifting alone through the night
How long have I been running for that morning flight
Through the whispered promises and the changing light
Late for the sky”

– Jackson Browne

Jammer

Photos by Matt Golosinski

 

 

 

 

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It is fabulous when folks take the time to listen. The great music blog Divide and Conquer reviews our record, “The Alternate Boot: Vols. 1&2” Jay Freeman does a track by track dissection. “… quite inventive and memorable.” The dissection isn’t as painful as it sounds. I mean, sometimes you dissect the cat, and you end up with a dead cat, but this is quite good, excellent writing, knowledgable ears, no cats killed in the process.

Jay plays the “What do they sound like game?” Pretty funny. It is difficult to write about music without drawing upon other sounds & artists. Influences & precursors. We all have them. This list is crazy good. He name-drops The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, REM, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Gordon Lightfoot, Loreena McKennitt, Cowboy Junkies, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Dire Straits & Patti Smith…

Yeah, ok, I’d say mix all those together in a waring blender… add a bit of lightening, blood, sweat, tears, and a healthy dash of eucalyptus, a drop of CDB oil, and you get something approximating WWSP’s folk-rock, groove-machine vibe!

Anyway, well done. Happy the review is dropping now. Good timing. Our show at SPACE is next week, Wednesday, Sept 4. All arrows are pointing forward. We are ready to make a joyful noise. – Jammer

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 8.47.29 AMEvery show. Every show is the thing. Always give it your all. It’s the code, the credo, the way. Damn the torpedos, lay it all on the line. The only way to do it.

Our next show happens to be at Evanston SPACE.  It’s an extraordinary room. Great sound, professional staff, perfect place to play, and to listen to music. One of the finest rooms in the country, no doubt. Some of our favorite artists have performed on that stage: Lucinda Williams, Son Volt, Alabama Shakes.

We will be on bill with our good friends Ex Maquina on Wednesday, September 4. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Purchase Tickets here: https://www.facebook.com/events/633914353773982/

We have played sidewalks, parks, black box theaters, parking lots, churches, attics, kitchens, dive bars, outdoor festivals, you name it. This one seems really special. We will do our part to make it fly. We hope to fill that room with a joyful noise. Hope you can join us. – Jammer

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We played in “train station alley” last night as part of The Main-Dempster Mile Summer Concert Series. We’ve gone from playing on the sidewalk to the alley. What’s next? Coachella? One can dream. Steamy, cloudy day. No rain. That was the big concern all day, “wonder if it’s gonna rain?” It didn’t. The show went on without a hitch.

Great set by Kacie Swierk, and a stirring display of Flamenco dancing from the wonderful ladies from Studio Mangiameli, then our set. Our band was fired up, playing for a beautiful crowd of folks, so many neighborhood friends, lots of kids, and all kinds of little furry critters too.

It was a good one. That little alley was sort of transformed, trains rattling overhead didn’t matter, the long, narrow alley concentrated the sound waves. Someone said to me: “Great scene. Great vibe.” When it comes down to it, that’s the thing, right?

We tried to do our part. Don’t really know how you conjure a scene, or a vibe, but that is what seems to happen when things go right. Things went right. Amazing scene. Amazing vibe. How does that happen?! – Jammer

Photo by Marina

 

 

 

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You may ask yourself, can I purchase whitewolfsonicprincess’ latest CD, “The Alternate Boot Vols. 1&2” at my favorite mass-market retailer? Can I buy “The Boot,” any place where CDs are sold?

The answer, dear pilgrim, is a resounding “Yes!”

We too are very surprised and gratified to bring you the good news.  In stock now! Think Amazon, Walmart, Import CDs, Deep Discount, Fye & Ebay.  Pretty cool. WWSP the new “mass-market” phenomenon! – Jammer

“Village of the Mermaids” by Paul Delvaux (1942)

 

 

wwsp @ reggies 2019

We played a r&r show on Sunday afternoon, Father’s Day 2019 at Reggies, one of Chicago’s great music meccas. The Lovely Carla Hayden (our lead singer), dedicated the show to “all the fathers past and present,” as well as to “peace and love.” It was a heavy thing to do. Lots of energy to take on in that little r&r haven. It definitely brought a focus to our performance. We were playing in front of some folks we knew, and a whole contingent of folks we didn’t. Lots of strangers in the crowd.

We were loud. The sound-tech at that place likes to blast music at maximum volume. Maybe best to cut through the small-talk, the bar-talk, the alcoholic haze. We thought it probably killed a bit of the nuance in our band dynamics, but at the same time it was a bit cathartic to just overwhelm the room with our sonic vibration.

We had a few “sound issues” the stage monitors didn’t seem to be working correctly on the first few songs, I couldn’t hear my guitar very well, didn’t know what was happening, couldn’t tell if I was in tune or out, I had a few guitar glitches, but by the 4th song everything was working & clicking. Our band pulled together and just kind of took off into the stratosphere.

We played a full set, over an hour of original music, and by the end, we were one solid unit playing our heart’s out for all to hear. I nearly spontaneously combusted on stage. I always run hot, but this time my whole body just went up in flames. I felt like I was sacrificing my body to a higher cause. Afterwards I was totally drained, spent, I felt like a hollow husk, drenched in sweat, totally exhausted.

As we were leaving, two beefy “door guys,” dressed like bikers, long hair, denim, boots, tattoos, cigarettes in hand, told us we “sounded great.” Hah! That was unexpected. Can’t think of a better token of validation for the whole mad little adventure! R&R! – Jammer

Photo by Joe Lapsley

 

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This breathtakingly gorgeous photo was taken by Katje Lilith Sabin  during our set at our show “WWSP & Friends” on Saturday May 18 at Jarvis Square Pottery. A fabulous night of music, with Victor Sanders & Lauren Nelson, The Herbal Remedies and whitewolfsonicprincess. The entertainment was to be found both on-stage as well as off-stage. What an incredibly cool scene at a great little storefront space.

It turns out that a handful of our songs have organically morphed into a set of grooves that inspires some folks to get up and dance. It’s been a recent phenomenon, started happening early in 2018 or late in 2017. Can’t exactly pinpoint the moment.  Instant, spontaneous dance party! Totally unexpected, absolutely gratifying. We attribute this surprising development to our extraordinary rhythm section consisting of Steve Rutstein on drums, Ian Ogden on bass and Randy Farr on percussion. When they kick it into high-gear, the room moves!

Who knew? WWSP Groove Machine! – Jammer

Photo by Katje Lilith Sabin