Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

The Wailhounds

Published September 27, 2001

Heads Up! This article is 21 years old.

For the Wailhounds — the Fort Wayne-based band who have opened up for the likes of the 10,000 Maniacs and former Doors guitarist Robby Krieger — the time has come to try to seek their own national acclaim and recognition.

Already extolled locally for their self professed “psychedelic groovy … blues based sound,” the band has begun to be groomed for success by three record labels, Noah Golden, Wailhounds guitarist and bassist, said.

Atlantic Records, Electra and Def Jam have approached the band, which also includes Josh Warney, congas and drums, Joe Trammel, guitar and bass and Scott Wasvick, harmonica, drums, bass, congas and guitar, after noticing their ability to please area crowds.

Golden said the next step in getting signed to a label is to record an album and get it into stores.

“Once the CD is out, the ball really starts rolling,” he said. The Wailhounds lately have been recording twice a week at Sweetwater Sound. They expect an October release of their self-titled, six song EP.

Golden said the album will be available at Wooden Nickel stores in town and at amazon.com.

After the album’s release band members will just have to wait and see how well it sells. The interested record labels, too, will take this approach, Golden said.

“We’re all very excited. This is what we want to do with our lives,” Golden said. “We want to get to the point where we don’t have to worry about anything but playing and recording music.”

Recently, Wailhounds members made a commitment they knew they’d have to eventually fulfill if they wanted to be fulltime musicians: “All of us have thrown in our hats and gone full time with our band,” Golden said. That means quitting their day jobs, a risky step in the music business.

Golden said he and his band mates were confident they were making the right choice in giving up their livelihoods to pursue music.

Already the band has experienced one aspect of rock-stardom: The road tour. In May, they bought a school bus, renovated it and headed out west to play six gigs in Phoenix, Arizona.

“We didn’t ever decide to go, something just pushed us out there,” Golden said. “We spent a lot of time practicing. We came back a better band. That’s the best thing we got out of it.”

He said the Wailhounds were well-received in Phoenix. They have a friend who lives in the city and who was able to get them two gigs. The other four gigs they lined up once they arrived.

After about a month in Arizona and California, the band returned to Fort Wayne. Recently, they’ve played several gigs including September 7 and 8 appearances at the Orangutan Shebang Music Festival at Fran Bar Park, Columbus, Ohio.

The band’s stage show, Golden said, incorporates many of the blues’ classic elements of extended jams and “free-form wailin’,” which “beckons the dancer in everyone.”

The band, whose influences include the Allman Brothers, the Rolling Stones, the Beastie Boys and Willie Nelson, cover everything blues from “Little Red Riding Hood” to “Give Me One Reason.”

“We try to choose some epic tunes that a lot of people won’t touch,” Golden said. “Some of the ones that we picked are good because they are short and get people to dance. We try to put our spin on songs. But they have to be done right,

or you make a fool out of yourself. We try to pick songs and do justice to them. “All four of us like all different styles of music. We listen to everything we can get our hands on. We don’t want to be in a band that plays one style of music. We don’t want to limit ourselves.”

Part of not limiting themselves musically includes band members’ ability to play multiple instruments.

“We do a lot of switching around on instruments in trying to change our sound. We all like to play these different instruments. It gives us an opportunity to grow,” Golden said.

“They’re one of the most requested bands that we have,” said Carol Stilley, who books bands at The Meteor in Auburn. “We’ve had customers standing in line waiting to get in to see them play. Usually, it’s standing room only.” Aside from being entertaining and energetic, Stilley said the Wailhounds were a “very talented band. I wish we could get them to play here more often, but they are in demand.”

Golden said he likes the freedom of the band and its music the best. “Every song that we play is different every time we play it. We’re not up there counting measures. We play on how we feel and what we get from the crowd. We are a crowd-oriented band.”

The Wailhounds have an extensive website located at www.wailhounds.com. The site includes five downloads of the band’s songs, pictures, a biography and information on upcoming gigs.

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