Get yourself down to the Living Room one of these last two Mondays in January to see Brooklyn locals Wakey Wakey rock the room during their month-long residency. The five-piece plus band delivers music that makes your toes tap and your heart ache all at once. Mike Grubbs is the man more or less at the center of the sound. His banter and laughter between songs is charming to no end, but it is the music that will really win you over. Grubbs starts many of the songs with a simple folkloric melody on the piano and then, cued with perfect accentuation by Jamie Alegre on the drums, the songs take on a richly textured sound, layered with electric instrumentation (the electric-violin tends to upstage the electric guitars) and nuance.
Wakey's songs flirt with some bright piano chords a la Ben Folds, but stand out on their own due to the vulnerable and honest quality of the lyrics and the passionate and raw crooning of Grubbs' vocals.
Wakey Wakey are true performers: their gracious and playful nature is comforting and amusing and their skills as musicians have the ability to awaken your senses, your passion, your emotions. Like an addiction, they'll leave you wanting more. Thank God for month-long residencies.
Photo by Frank Celenza from the Mercury Lounge CD Release party