Broken Land Bell, which includes cross-genre collaborations with NYC beat boxer Adam Matta and circus/theater composer Sxip Shirey, successfully blends The Wiyos’ affinity for 1920s/30s country blues and western swing with their pop songwriting sensibilities and post-modern, experimental sound sculptures. Imagine a collision between the worlds of Bob Wills, The Beatles, The Washboard Rhythm Kings, The Roots, Blind Willie McTell and Beck, and you’ll begin to form a notion of the new territory The Wiyos are creating. In contrast to the recording process of their two previous analog “live in the studio” albums, which both focus on capturing the bands masterful reinterpretations of various traditional American idioms, Broken Land Bell was created through a mixture of live and layered tracking, all engineered by bassist, Joseph “joebass” Dejarnette and collaboratively produced by the band.
‘The Whyos’ was an Irish street gang that ruled the lower east side of Manhattan during the late 1800s. The album title alludes to both the origin of the band and the recording setting (Studio 808A), as the name “Brooklyn” is derived from the words “Broken Land”, used by the first Dutch settlers of New York in the 1600s. The album title Broken Land Bell is a metaphorical tip of the hat to the current socio-economic state of the country, with a hopeful view towards the future.
The Wiyos are enjoying the synchronous arrival of some well-earned recognition. Within the span of a few months they have received an invitation to join the Bob Dylan/Willie Nelson/John Mellencamp 2009 summer tour (28 dates), been featured in a BBC documentary (“Folk America – Hollerers, Stompers and Old-Time Ramblers”) and released their fourth full-length album entitled Broken Land Bell. Now after six years of relentless touring (200 plus dates a year) in multiple countries, all independent of a record label or manager, The Wiyos have suddenly emerged as one of the hallmark groups in the resurgence of traditional American music.