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An earful of buzzin for this band
Fiddler Andrew Joslyn returns to the island tonight with Handful of Luvin.
Its been seven years since Andrew Joslyn left Bainbridge High School to pursue a music degree at Western Washington University.
Armed with a violin and a classical background, Joslyn quickly realized he needed something else besides the regimented schedule and requirements of a university music major to keep his musical passion alive.
Im not Jascha Heifetz or a hard-core classical violinist and Im definitely not a morning person, said Joslyn at his current home in Seattle. I just thought, there is no way I am going to make it like that.
So he dropped his major to a minor and started experimenting with fellow Western alum and singer/songwriter David John Wellnitz.
I was an RA when I met David John, and we put on a concert for the students and I heard his music for the first time. I was just amazed, Joslyn said. We started playing coffee shops together from there it morphed into this bizarre musical project for me.
Joslyn is returning to the island with a 5-string electric violin, a menagerie of effects and a group of talented musicians better known as Handful of Luvin.
Handful consists of Wellnitz on guitar and vocals, Patrick Files on bass, Michael Knight on drums and Joslyn on fiddle/violin.
Theyll showcase their talents this evening at the Waterfront Park summer concert series.
Handful comprises a fine mix of experimental violin/fiddle on top of John Mayer-esque songs with undertones of harder blues rock, Celtic riffs and classical compositions. Its a new music sensation that has lately been generating well-deserved hype in the Northwest.
The group generates a lot of their own buzz with an extensive gigging schedule that sees them covering a swath of the Northwest I-5 corridor on any given week.
The four-member band recently got back from a West Coast tour as well, and hasnt stopped for a break yet.
Lets see, this week we have three shows, I think next week we have four shows, Joslyn said as he tried to recall dates and times.
Our talent manager has been talking about playing Korea and doing an extensive East Coast tour and Im just like wow.
The band has been featured on radio station 103.7 FM The Mountain and was the stations local access artist for a month, which helped give it a solid 200-person following at most of its shows.
I think the Mountain thought we were just a college band and we wouldnt be going anywhere. I mean, if I got our first album in the mail that is what I would think, Joslyn said, recalling their first hastily recorded album in a basement in Bellingham. I am curious to see what they think of the next album.
That album, Land of Giants, offers an energetic follow-up with enough pop for radio and enough technical prowess to silence the most persistent music snob.
The album was produced by Steve Adamek, a Seattle rock legend who produced Left Hand Smokes last album and was a songwriter for the 1980s Seattle band the Allies.
He had mentioned he wanted to produce us and I called him up when we were looking at making this recording and said, we really need your help, Joslyn said. Were four guys with strong egos and we needed a good objective outside view for this album.
The concert in the park comes two days before the bands anticipated official release party for its new album at Seattles Showbox Theater. However, Joslyn said the band will sell copies of the CD at Waterfront Park to those who cant make the four-band event.
This will be Handfuls first show on Bainbridge; Joslyn says hes eager to come back to share his music with his hometown.
Last time I was there I did a lot of music with Alan Simcoe; we played a lot of swing and jazz, Joslyn said. Music on the island has changed now. It seems like it is really being promoted and being encouraged, which is a lot different from what it was when I was in high school.
I dont know what our reception will be like, but we do have a lot to offer.