The Texas-based Asylum Street Spankers will perform in Ashland. - Todd Williams

Asylum Street Spankers

The Asylum Street Spankers are back in town. Mobius Productions will present the eclectic ensemble in concert at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, at Jackson WellSprings, 2253 Highway 99 North, Ashland.
The Austin-roots group brings a blend of old-time string band virtuosity, vaudeville panache, and razor-sharp wit to its shows.

The band was born in 1994 when Christina Marrs and Guy Forsyth met Wammo at an impromptu all-night-sing-along at the Dabbs Hotel in Llano, Texas.

Upon returning to Austin, the trio called upon their musically like-minded friends to get together for club dates and busking on the Guadalupe Street drag. Following success on the road and in the studio, the band founded its own Spanks-A-Lot Records in 1999 and continues to tour extensively throughout the world.

Asylum Street Spankers presented an off-Broadway stage show, "What? And Give Up Show Business?" at New York City's Barrow Street Theatre with a two-week run.

The New York Times described the group as "dedicated to acoustic instrumentation, but mischievously unorthodox in every other way."

The Village Voice said that "the Austin collective tap-dances on the thin line between stunning virtuosity and goofy farce, an eight-person dervish of washboard/dobro/harmonica/clarinet/singing saw/upright bass/violin/ etc., minimally amplified for maximum impact."

Variety said: "What is surprising is how cleverly and seamlessly the ensemble managed to weave its pre-existing material into a narrative tapestry that conjured up images of Kinky Friedman, Ray Stevens and the Firesign Theater without seeming like a pastiche of these influences."

The Hollywood Reporter wrote "the musical virtuosity of the performers and the wonderfully funny songs on display provide ample compensation, and the utterly likable performers — they even helpfully announce at which bar they'll be drinking after the show — overcomes any critical resistance."

Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Children under 12 are admitted free.

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