In the beginning, The Wiyos built an audience the old fashioned way, by touring from town to town. If they couldn't get a gig they played on the street, often rallying large crowds and even the law. On their first outing the band drove south in a dilapidated school bus. After numerous breakdowns and two fires, one of which nearly ended the inaugural tour for the entire band, they finally arrived in New Orleans where they cut their teeth busking on the streets.
While the early Wiyos' masterfully embodied the performance styles of the 1920's and 1930's, they approached touring life with the attitude of the rock and punk music they grew up with. They threw down through polished sets at bar gigs, parties, street fairs, coffee houses, side show tents and even strip clubs. They were known for crashing booking conferences instead of applying for official showcases, playing in the halls and in hotel lobbies. From 2003 to 2008 their shows (over 200/year) were entirely acoustic, typically gathered around one mic. Their reputation for "taking the room" made them darlings of the folk circuit, a must see act, and landed the band tours in England, the South of France, Holland, and Sweden .
The buzz of these high paced Vaudeville-esque performances reached its zenith in 2009 when they were featured in the BBC television documentary, "Folk America Hollerers, Stompers and Old-Time Ramblers". Later that same year, Bob Dylan hand picked the band to be the openers for his 28 date minor league baseball stadium summer tour with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp.
Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks (View)
100 West Main Street
Millheim, PA 16854
|Minimum Age: 21|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|