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For the week of Apr. 19 through Apr. 25, 2000

Hillbilly jive at Big Wood Bread

Express Staff Writer

Coconuts, a ukelele, a tuba, a tenor banjo, bones, a tenor sax and homemade turntables are among a few of the instruments that can turn up when musicians Ben Weaver and Paul Dandy take to the stage.

Those eclectic instruments reflect the style of music that the duo play, something they call "hillbilly-jive, honkey-beat blues."

Weaver and Dandy play at Bigwood Bread’s Northwood Way location Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

The Weaver and Dandy sound also reflects their boyish enthusiasm—they both turned 21 recently—and their respect for early country and blues music.

Weaver, for example, can belt out a blues yodel that harks back to legendary 1930s yodeler and country music founding father Jimmie Rodgers.

Weaver and Dandy seem to be genuine hillbillies. When they’re not touring, Dandy lives in rural West Virginia and Weaver lives in a cabin in northern Minnesota.

Dandy, born in New Orleans, quit high school to become a hustler, according to a press release from the Weaver-Dandy record label, Unit Three Records. He became a full-time pool player, a cardshark, a pimp and a musician.

Weaver was born in Eugene, Ore., and grew up on the road with his truck-driving father. Texas roadhouses, Montana brothels, Alabama jukeboxes are influences for Weaver’s songwriting, according to the press release.

"Talented little bastards," said Tom Waits after seeing the two perform live last year.

Weaver and Dandy played about 250 shows last year, including shows in France, Germany and Japan. The French newspaper Le Monde wrote that the show was "absolute entertainment, a perfect show."

The Village Voice wrote of a recent Weaver-Dandy show that it was "the most entertaining show New York has seen in years."


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