While lamenting the fact that I’d missed the Wadhams Waddlers at The Grange last Friday, I was informed that I might conjure up a touch of their lighthearted entertainment by reading Alvin Reiner’s “Wadhams Waddlers Wander.”
Perhaps the dearest costs of traveling away from Essex – no matter how exotic and enticing the destination – are the missed opportunities in and around Essex while away. Call it the inevitable downside of the Essex Renaissance. Or call it another argument for cloning?
If you haven’t heard the Wadhams Waddlers yet, let me introduce “Wadhams’ third most popular four-member old-timey string band,” courtesy of Alvin Reiner’s tireless toil. From left to right (in the photo above) you’re looking into the musical souls of Liz Bouchard-Hall, Kevin Bouchard-Hall, Chris Gribnau and Lisa Henry.
I first (and last) heard them entertain an audience during an Adirondack Literacy fundraiser at The Grange a year or so ago. The music was delightful, but their schtick goes beyond catchy rhythms. According to Kevin, “Sometimes we just shout and dance around.” And according to Alvin, “they interject their prattle between virtually every song.” He means that in the good way! I think…
Time to step aside and hand off the baton to Alvin whose band member introductions are almost as entertaining as the Wadhams Waddlers themselves.
- Kevin Bouchard-Hall (banjo) “Rangy and gnarly, Kevin strums his banjo and warbles on with lamentations of his life.”
- Liz Bouchard-Hall (bass) “Of his wife… Kevin said, ‘Liz is an awesome bass player but very sleepy. She plays the upright bass because she has to stand to stay awake. We know that rehearsal is over when Liz and the bass are both on the floor.'”
- Lisa Henry (guitar) “‘The quiet philosopher’ until she takes a solo, and then she is known to shout with excitement… Most of the time, however… she is thinking about how to reduce her life’s possessions into one car so that she can become a ‘national park nomad.'”
- Chris Gribnau (fiddle) “Chris… sees an instrument, steps back, looks it over for a minute, picks it up, and the next day he is giving performances to eager crowds… Chris fronts the Waddlers with fiddle, vocals and a seemingly infinite supply of jokes. When he isn’t playing music, he’s trying to convince his wife, Lisa, to stop selling all of their possessions so they can live out of their car, but it’s really a halfhearted attempt.” (Press-Republican)
Intrigued? Maybe I’ll see you at the next Wadhams Warblers concert. They will be performing in the “Bluegrass for the New Generation Festival” at the Willsboro High School at 4:00PM on Sunday, June 2.
Or maybe just wander through Wadhams listening for their tunes wafting across town…
And in case you’d like a glimpse at their Memorial Day kickoff concert, here’s a somewhat blurry but well-audio’ed video for you to enjoy.
Additional Information about the Wadhams Waddlers
- Website: wadhamswaddlers.com
- Email: Wadhamswaddlers@gmail.com
- Address: 953 County Route 8, Wadhams, NY 12993
- Phone: (518) 962-8992