Lunch Music

Just Plain Folk

Are 12 Shades of Schwilly Silly the next big thing? Sure! Why not?

By John Chandler June 9, 2009

Ah, the joys of communal street life in the summertime. I was just waiting for a couple of tacos at the SW Fifth and Oak food carts when this scruffy little ensemble struck up a merry drinking tune. They’re called 12 Shades of Schwilly Silly (sp?) and they’re a free-range musical collective with members from New York, Eugene, Boston, Louisiana, and wherever else they happen to land. Originally I just wanted to check out the cute girl playing the saw, but the Shades’ spicy camp stew of folk-gypsy-Tom-Waits-Pogues-Weill-pirate shanties proved totally captivating. Sal the guitarist described their music as "that feeling you have when you wake up from a great dream and realize you’ve wet the bed." They’ll be around for a while, and their plans include a house party on Friday somewhere in Southeast. I assume they’ll be playing at it and not just soaking up the beer.

And someone dug their sound so much that they tipped the band a pair of puppies!

Sigh. Theirs is a path I might have chosen had I not opted for four walls, three dogs, a fiancée, and crippling debt. As a middle-aged desk jockey, am I allowed to envy these rambling ragamuffins and their nomadic lifestyle? How say you, drinking buddies?

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