David Wax's circuitous journey to and from the back roads of Mexico has inspired The David Wax Museum’s lively fusion of traditional Mexican and American folk music. With its heart-wrenching harmonies, poignant lyrics, and rooted Americana sound, this talented Boston-based quartet has quickly won over audiences across New England. The David Wax Museum’s exuberant Mexo-Americana songs bring audiences to their feet with Latin rhythms, call-and-response hollering, and donkey jawbone rattling.
This Mexo-Americana sound draws on David's mid-Missouri upbringing and years of study in Mexico. Initially raised on the gritty and searing sound of local country rockers like Uncle Tupelo, David gravitated early on towards the rootsy rock of the Midwest. He would go on to spend his first two years of college on a cattle ranch in California before wandering around the US on a Greyhound and spending several summers working in rural Mexico. He eventually followed in the steps of Gram Parsons and Pete Seeger and transferred to Harvard, where he studied Latin American history and literature. This primed David, upon graduating, to return to the Mexican countryside to learn its rural folk music. The new instruments, rhythms, and song structures he brought back with him led to a natural blending of these two distinct musical traditions of Midwestern folk and son mexicano.
When David returned to Boston from Mexico, he quickly found the core group of musicians who comprise the Museum: Jiro Kokubu, Suz Slezak, and Greg Glassman. The David Wax Museum has quickly built up its Boston audience, selling out its first solo headlining show at Club Passim in April of 2009. They have become regulars at many of the most established and respected venues in Boston and have toured throughout New England.
Jiro, a phenomenal multi-instrumentalist from Osaka, Japan, found a home in the Japanese bluegrass community, and on his band’s first tour of America, he met his hero Bill Monroe. He later returned to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music, graduating in 2008. In The David Wax Museum, Jiro’s breath-taking dobro solos and spectacular mandolin ability make him a thrill to take in.
Suz Slezak brings her lovely harmony vocals, old-time fiddling, and donkey jawbone-whacking abilities to the band. A skillful fiddler with a background in old time, Irish, and classical genres, Suz has been performing in the Boston area on and off since 1999. Raised within a strong old time music community on the outskirts of Charlottesville, VA, Suz helps anchor The David Wax Museum firmly in American roots music with her slight Virginia drawl. She mesmerizes the crowds when she picks up her donkey jawbone, a traditional Mexican percussive piece.
Greg Glassman rounds out the band with captivating drumming, a soulful voice, and his ability to always find a stunning third harmony. Originally from Bedford, New Hampshire, Greg has been an integral member of the Boston Americana scene for almost a decade, performing with the likes of The Sacred Shakers (with Eilen Jewell) and Tastes Like Gravy String Band.
During the band's first year and a half together, The David Wax Museum has already had the good fortune to share the stage with some of its favorite nationally recognized bands. In 2008, The David Wax Museum landed its first opening show with The Avett Brothers (Columbia Records) back in David’s hometown of Columbia, Missouri. This eventually led to the band joining three separate legs of the Avett Brother’s Emotionalism national tour, which took them to Missouri, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
They will be touring this fall up and down the East Coast to promote their latest record Carpenter Bird -- September 18, 2009 release date -- a riveting collage of upbeat Mexican-influenced tunes that have one foot firmly planted in the roots of American music. The album, mixed by Missouri music legend Lou Whitney (Wilco, Jonathan Richman, Blue Mountain, The Bottle Rockets), captures the band’s energy and unique Mexo-Americana sound. The new album promises to continue expanding the Museum’s audience, introducing more and more people to this exciting new Boston band.