Mad Tea Party
Asheville’s innovative folk group the Mad Tea Party performs original songs as well as novelty jazz and old-time music from the ’20s and ’30s. In the course of a performance they will sing and play ukulele, banjo, guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo, fiddle, kazoo, slide whistle, horns, bells, whistles, and more! Their material ranges from silly to sincere. And their delivery is delightfully refreshing. As one reviewer put it, “Perhaps the most meaningful thing I can say about the show is this: It’s a rare night when I can walk out of a bar at 2 AM and feel a little more innocent than when I came in” (Steve Shanafelt, Mountain Xpress). They will make you laugh and make you think, and they will most certainly entertain you.
Work Hours and Fee Schedule
Ukulele player, banjo picker, singer, and songwriter Ami Worthen offers an eccentric musical combination that brings a swing to your step and a smile to your face. Ami’s clever lyrics, distinct voice, and nimble fingers are enhanced by a stage performance that is infused with humor, an eye-catching wardrobe of coquettish nostalgia, and Ami’s own unique presence. As Carol Mallett wrote in the Asheville Citizen-Times, “Worthen’s warmth and personality shine through in all her performances and her endearing quality and talent come through just as well in Hawaiian clothes and a lei as they do in old-time garb.”
Multi-instrumentalist and virtuoso Jason Krekel is a favorite musician of the western North Carolina area. He performs with such diverse groups as the Firecracker Jazz Band, A.V.A.S., Sufi Brothers, and with his father, renowned songwriter Tim Krekel. In The Mad Tea Party, Krekel sings and plays fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. He also plays kazoo, slide whistle, horns, and noisemakers a la Spike Jones. A solid and innovative accompanist on every song, he especially makes the novelty numbers shine. Over the years, Krekel has had the opportunity to share musical experiences with many of the keepers of the acoustic tradition as well as with the greatest purveyors of the modern acoustic sound. Krekel can only be pinned down as a lover of the genre and a player/preserver of the tradition.
Peggy Seeger says
Acclaimed folk musician Peggy Seeger has this to say about the band, “The Mad Tea Party’s music is a serious, silly, cheerful, colourful, funny, hoppity-hippity, bouncy, Alice-in-Wonderland kind of ‘mad’. They play old mad favorites and create new ones. Jason Krekel’s one-man instrument set-up is hilarious. Ami Worthen’s ukulele makes you want to dance and her butterfly/wallpaper couture are… well, MAD. Drop whatever you’re doing when they’re in your neighborhood and join in the fun.”
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