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Asylum Street Spankers

The Asylum Street Spankers, from Austin, TX, are a unique band led by vocalist/washboard player/poet Wammo and vocalist Christina Marrs. They're finding a growing cult following for their unique brand of acoustic blues and early jazz. While much of their material is blues from the 1920s and '30s, the Asylum Street Spankers also perform original songs in their live shows and on their debut album for Watermelon Records, Spanks for the Memories. The band's live shows are performed without amplifiers or microphones, usually including tunes from Bessie Smith and Robert Johnson along with other standard and traditional blues tunes.

In addition to Wammo and Marrs, bandmembers have included guitarist Colonel Josh Arnson, guitarist Jeff Ross, banjo and mandolin player Pops Bayless, drummer Jimmie Dean, guitarist and saw player Olivier Giraud, kazoo player Mysterious John, guitarist and singer/songwriter Guy Forsyth, and bassist Kevin Smith. The genesis of the band occurred in the early '90s at a hotel outside of Austin. After an all-night acoustic tune swap, the musicians realized they were onto something, getting back to basics and playing acoustic music. After several phone calls and circulated tapes, the band met again for a rehearsal, and the chemistry took over from there.

The Asylum Street Spankers began attracting growing crowds after playing steady Wednesdays at the Electric Lounge, a bar in Austin, and from that following, they took the next step and recorded their debut album for the local Watermelon label. While many of the melodies and progressions on Spanks for the Memories are old, some of the band's lyrics are straight out of contemporary America. Songs like "Funny Cigarette," "Trade Winds," "Lee Harvey," and "Hometown Boy" are funny and entertaining to most audiences. This was proven by the following live album, which chronicled a 1996 show and showcased their charm and charisma in a live setting. The Nasty Novelties EP provided fans with one great song title, "Rotten C**ks**ker's Ball," but it was the following year's full-length Hot Lunch that brought the real goods. Another fine set of old-fashioned pop, the record won rave reviews and set them apart from other, more gimmick-oriented revivalists.

The next year, Spanker Madness took fans by surprise with its hootenanny-style structure and heavy cast of guest musicians. Every song revolved around the merits of marijuana, and the humorous approach and loose vibe drafted a new set of fans who were enticed by the band's liberal politics. A clever Christmas album and an EP of more dirty songs (highlighted by the hilarious "Everybody's F**king But Me") held over fans until 2002, when My Favorite Record was released on their own Spanks-a-Lot Records. Mercurial, a typically eclectic outing that included a cover of the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere" and a hoedown version of Black Flag's "TV Party," was released in 2004, and Re-Assembly arrived in 2006. The Spankers came out with a bouncy, family-oriented album called Mommy Says No! the following year. ~ Richard Skelly & Bradley Torreano
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Last Laugh

1. Didn't It Rain

2. Never Goin' Back

3. I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water

4. Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan

5. Ludicrous Heart

6. She Texted Me Goodbye

7. Make It Rain

8. The Swan

9. Savor Every Day

10. F**k Work

11. The Final Song?

12. Coffee Grindin' Blues

x

Track List: God's Favorite Band

1. Dark Was The Night

2. Shadrach, Meshach And Abednego

3. Each Day

4. Right And Wrong

5. Jesus Walkin' On The Water

6. Last Mile Of The Way

7. Down By The Riverside

8. By And By

9. Volkswagen Thing

10. Wade In The Water

11. It Ain't Necessarily So

x

Track List: What? And Give Up Show Biz?

Disc 1

1. "Ladies And Gentlemen... I've Wasted My Life"

2. Everybody Loves My Baby

3. Nice Theater

4. My Country's Calling Me

5. Winning The War On Drugs

6. Blue Prelude

7. It's Good To Be Here In, Uh....

8. Why Do It Right?

9. Stanley And Wammo

10. Since I Met You Baby

11. Gig From Hell

12. Monkey Rag

13. The Morning Moron Mob

14. Medley Of Burned Out Songs

15. Beer

16. Strange Talents

17. Leaf Blower

18. The Bus Story

19. Think About Your Troubles

20. Daddy Drinks Because You Cry

21. You Only Love Me For My Lunchbox

Disc 2

1. Y'all Like Love Songs?

2. My Baby In The Cia

3. Read Thinner Books

4. Asylum Street Blues

5. Breathin'

6. Bathroom Break

7. Big Noise From Winnetka

8. Hick Hop

9. Got My Mojo Workin'

10. Take A Good Look

11. My Favorite Record

12. Encore

13. Blade Of Grass

14. Requests

15. Pakalolo Baby

16. Tight Like That

17. Wake And Bake

18. TV Party

19. Goodnight

20. Stick Magnetic Ribbons On Your SUV

x

Track List: Mercurial

1. Digga Digga Doo

2. Paul Revere

3. D.R.I.N.K.

4. Since I Met You Baby

5. Shine On Harvest Moon

6. Got My Mojo Workin'

7. Some Of These Days

8. Dance This Mess Around

9. Tv Party

10. Hick Hop

11. Tight Like That

12. Sugar In My Bowl

13. Going Up To The Country, Paint My Mailbox Blue

14. Its A Sin To Tell A Lie

x

Track List: My Favorite Record

1. Monkey Rag

2. Antifreeze

3. Breathin'

4. Whatever

5. Mountain Town

6. Wingless Angels

7. Smile

8. Wammo's Blues

9. Insane Asylum

10. Minor Waltz

11. No Song Sad Enough

12. My Favorite Record

x

Track List: Spanker Madness

1. High As You Can Be

2. Beer

3. Blade Of Grass

4. Take The Heat

5. Winning The War On Drugs

6. Wake And Bake

7. Interlude

8. Knock Myself Out

9. Amsterdam

10. Pakalolo Baby

11. Gettin' High

12. It's Dry Down Here

13. Orion

x

Track List: Hot Lunch

1. Cakewalk

2. I Don't Wanna

3. Trippin' Over You

4. U.F.O. Attack

5. If I Were You

6. Colonel Josh's BBQ

7. Hot Lunch

8. Blue Prelude

9. Smells Like Thirty-Something

10. Fanny

11. Island Angel

12. A Smo-O-Oth One

13. Bijou

14. Sad Bomber

15. New Jazz Fiddle

16. Asylum Street Blues

x

Track List: Spanks For The Memories

1. Introduction

2. If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day

3. Superchief

4. Song With No Words

5. Introduction

6. Lee Harvey

7. I'll See You In My Dreams

8. Hesitation Blues

9. Startin' To Hate Country

10. Walkin' & Whistlin' Blues

11. Shave 'Em Dry

12. Brazil

13. Tradewinds

14. Introduction

15. Funny Cigarette

16. Hometown Boy

17. Drunkard's Wave

18. Black Eyed Blues

Comments

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Saw them live at Bumbershoot in Seattle a few years ago. Fun show, made for beer drinking after a couple quick tokes in the porta-potty. Good times!
Report as inappropriate
Gone but not forgotten
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you knew damn well I meant 'year' ;-)
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To have lived through those times, listened to that music in a speakeasy... but of course antibiotics were unknown in that ear.
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Alas they are no more.
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toe tapping stuff....... . I bet they are fantastic on stage....
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Saw them live in the mos esly cantina. But they were wearing some kind of alien outfit? Is that their normal stage attire?
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What can I say? It's the Spankers.
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This chicks voice is so hot!
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Won tickets to see them at la zona rosa and have been a fan ever since
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Cool!
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dude... just realized that this was mos eisley cantina... been trying to place it forever...
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sisiutl99
First night I moved to Austin, Tx in '95 my friends picked me up from the airport, drove us to a lil place called The Outhouse, bought me a Shiner Bock and we took in a Spankers show-great intro to a great city-I'll never forget it and I saw them several times before I moved-unique , fun & supremely Austin!
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j.blixt
The Spankers played Duluth last night in a tiny theater with great sound- what a hilarious, jiving, naughty show -- their first and last in Duluth. Spanks for the memories!
Report as inappropriate
I learned about this band in '98... they continue to captivate me. I had the opportunity to see them live in Virginia... outstanding!
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So sad that they are breaking up after so long. Catch them during their final tour which concludes March 2010.
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hdfxwg1981
cant wait till they pass threw Eugene again
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just came across this on pandora. LOVE digga digga doo.
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bobondeez
z and walleye and green
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i love how they work in the starwars music....jus t awesome & original...L O V E IT!!
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Absolutely the best concert I have ever been to...I proposed, got a yes, and listened to Whammo tell us "NO". Yaaaaaaaaaay

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scottaheynew e l l
Some of the best live entertainmen t on the planet!
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I definitely must see them live.
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I see them every time they come to town...love 'em!!!
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Love this! Hope I get the chance to see them live.
Report as inappropriate
great show! love the music.
Report as inappropriate
Best live band you never heard of...see em if you get the chance
Report as inappropriate
cstorts
Ridiculously awesome band. Live performances are the best!

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