Check out this awesome video of Austin, Texas roots rockers Wheeler Brothers busking in New York City over the winter. The band performed “I’ve Been Around” off their upcoming album. We chatted with band member Nolan Wheeler below about the experience.
What motivated you to busk on the streets of New York City? Is this something you guys do often or have done before?
We busk often. It’s fun to scale back our music and perform it live and unplugged on the street.
What kind of reactions do you get from playing on the street?
I’ve met people at our shows that say they came because of our street performance. I’ve also seen people stroll past us as if they could not care less. Either way its fun to get out in the city and promote our album.
Tell us a little about this particular busking experience.
We were busking right before the show in front of the venue, the living room. We had a decent crowd. The best part was in addition to our crowd was a line of people waiting to get their ID’S checked at a neighboring bar. They didn’t have much choice over whether or not they wanted to hear us. But, this was one of the gigs I noticed people from the street performance at our show later on that night…
You have a very unique and dynamic sound live – how do you choose which songs will translate into a broken down acoustic performance?
It depends. We have acoustic instruments that we can use to recreate the sound including the ukulele, acoustic guitar, banjo, cajon and violin. It’s all about sitting down together and seeing what works. We’ve actually showed up to a gig before with all of our equipment only to find out that it was supposed to be an acoustic performance. It was definitely a surprise but we were ready for it and nevertheless it was a good show.
What was the inspiration for “I’ve Been Around?”
I always wanted to play the uke so I bought one a couple months back at a local guitar shop. A few weeks after its purchase I put together a rough structure of chords and a melody. It remained empty lyrically until one late night friend/musical collaborator Deano showed up at our house. We had a beer and ended up seeing the sunrise trading verses.
Wheeler Brothers tour dates:
3/6/12 Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre – Rye Room
3/7/12 Columbia, MO @ Mojo’s
3/12/12 Breckenridge, CO @ Three20 South
3/13-18/12 Austin, TX @ SXSW
3/14/12 Music Fog Showcase, Threadgills South @ 2 PM
Governor’s Texas Music Office Party, Rays Backstage Bar at the Rattle Inn @ 7:30 PM
3/15/12 Austin Independent Radio day party, the Dogwood @ 3 PM
Lonestar Music Stage day party, TBD @ 6:45 PM
3/16/12 Township Records party, Kenny Dorham’s Backyard @ 4 PM
New Frontier Touring party, Skinny’s Ballroom @ 1 AM
3/23/12 Dallas, TX @ South Side Music Hall
3/24/12 Lubbock, TX @ The Blue Light Live
3/28/12 Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry’s
3/29/12 Greenville, SC @ Piedmont Natural Gas Downtown
3/30/12 Asheville, NC @ Jack of the Wood
3/31/12 Charlotte, NC @ Evening Muse
4/1/12 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
4/5/12 Baton Rouge, LA @ Chelsea’s Café
4/7/12 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Green Room
4/12/12 Lubbock, TX @ The Blue Light Live
4/13/12 Lubbock, TX @ Old Town/New Town
4/20/12 Driftwood, TX @ Old Settlers Music Fest