Irish pubs and whiskey may have been part of the humble origins of the Nashville-based band Humming House, but it was the co-producer of their debut album, Grammy award-winning Mitch Dane, who heard these musicians playing together before they were even a band. According to lead vocalist and songwriter, Justin Wade Tam, “Prior to the album, and living in Nashville, the current band members would sing Celtic tunes for fun and drink Irish whiskey in a town where musicians often don’t get a break.” Everything
changed when Dane recorded the track “Gypsy Django” in his studio, which immediately led to the rest of the self-titled debut album. After that session in the studio, the chemistry between Tam and his new bandmates couldn’t be denied.
“Their debut album is a mischievous, foot stomping collection of songs that evoke Old Crow Medicine Show, early Ryan Adams, and BR549 without ever imitating them. Led by Tam, the band throws everything including a singing saw into their music to excellent effect. Humming House’s debut is a raucous, jubilant good time. From any band this would be a good album, but from a new band it's darned close to perfect,” says Roughstock.
It’s fitting that a song about Django Rhienhardt, the father of gypsy jazz, kicks off the album. The bandmembers certainly embrace the gypsy spirit, having come from varied corners of the country with all types of instruments and styles to find each other in Nashville. Released in 2012, the record reflects other eras, utilizing everything from parlor guitar to clanging electric guitar, viola to B3 organ, and even the aforementioned singing saw. When Mitch Dane first heard them play, he cemented their decision to record together by putting them in the studio with his own resources to record that first track. The result was so unmistakably meant to be, that plans for the album were undertaken immediately.
Humming House’s mingling of swing, rockabilly, and Irish music, along with the clanging electric guitars and surprising lush layers and harmonies, set them apart from the growing legions of roots-influenced artists. Mike Butera, who plays the rockabilly-influenced electric guitar, is not only a classically trained violinist but also a Professor of Sociology at Belmont with a PhD in Sound Studies. Meanwhile, mandolinist Joshua Wolak was a straight up bluegrasser who also happened to study trombone and piano. Kristen Rogers, a young but old school R&B and soul singer, brought in bassist and classical composition guru Ben Jones.
Humming House is not just a playground, it’s a destination about to be put on the map that you must visit and experience for yourself. So get yourself over to Oskar Blues Friday, June 7, for an enchanting musical exploration with a sound deeper than decades, and hear why this new Nashville band is taking the country by storm. Be one of the first in Colorado to witness this great new Americana/Roots band. They swing for sure!