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The Asylum Street Spankers, Sounding Off

The Asylum Street Spankers, with Wammo and Christina Marrs at lower left.
The Asylum Street Spankers, with Wammo and Christina Marrs at lower left.

The Asylum Street Spankers are named for a street in Austin, Texas, that once led to the State Asylum. They've been called a postmodern jug band and "Hee-Haw for hipsters," among other things. They use fiddles, resonator guitars and even a saw, one of five instruments key contributor Christina Marrs has taught herself.

Their music is drawn mostly from the early 20th century, yet many of the lyrics aren't suitable for NPR -- they're a bit too naughty. But as Jacki Lyden notes, the act is witty and wacky, a bit reminiscent of the late, great Spike Jones and his orchestra.

Marrs and lead singer Wammo tell Lyden about their music.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jacki Lyden
Longtime listeners recognize Jacki Lyden's voice from her frequent work as a substitute host on NPR. As a journalist who has been with NPR since 1979, Lyden regards herself first and foremost as a storyteller and looks for the distinctive human voice in a huge range of national and international stories.