To continue my music series this summer, I was able to meet up with a musician from one of my new favorite bands. Although this band has been around for some time, they just recently this year have entered my music realm. Ever since then, they have been a well-deserved addition to my collection. The band I am talking about is The Ballroom Thieves. This week their drummer, the tall and relaxed, Devin Mauch took some time on a humid day to meet with me at City Winery before their free show that night.
The Ballroom Thieves consist of three talented musicians who include: Calin Peters, (cello), Devin Mauch (percussion) and Martin Earley (guitar). “Martin and I met in college while in Boston and we played music together for four years until we became officially The Ballroom Thieves. We made that a thing for a solid two years after, “ shares Devin with a glass of red wine in hand, “it wasn’t until later when we added Calin into the mix and since then, the rest has been history!” As a band, The Ballroom Thieves play a unique sound that captivates listeners easily. All three of the musicians form a well-tuned unit with a focus on attractive harmonies and guitar licks that draw upon passionate roots. Through their eclectic taste in music, the formation of the band has created original success for them. In every song, I can sense a blues-folk vibe going on that is driven by emotion. They are bent on telling their listeners a story but all the while giving them the tools to imagine the details taking place. However, the best part of their songs is that no one listener will have the same journey. It is storytelling at its best. A band that not only shows its fans a new aesthetic endeavor but also compels them to think deeper than before is something amazingly special.
Part of their success, besides simply being amazing musicians, is the fact that they constantly promote their music. “We are always on the road. The van is our hotel. We are currently on our US tour and will be heading up to Canada in the fall. This year we are touring nine months out of the year and have taken many sacrifices to get our music out there. The music business is so different now. We have to make adjustments with records and how we run things. However, it is so exciting to be a part of it. We are living the music dream.” While it is great to shed such music light to the masses, it seems like a rough road for them to keep on. However, they remain unfazed and keep an intense focus on their work as they progress forward to new heights. I admire their hard work and it has certainly paid off. Touring is the best way to find success in music nowadays and The Ballroom Thieves are well ahead of the curve.
The Ballroom Thieves will be in Nantucket and the Cape for the fourth of which I still remain jealous. They keep true to their Boston roots and have extreme gratitude when they can play a festival or show back at their homebase. Towards the end of July they will be playing at the Newport Folk Festival that has been a lifetime dream of theirs. “It really has been quite a surreal ride for us. We started performing on the streets of Boston and now we are doing all these great shows across the country.” I am sure there will be more adventures along the way for these music stars.
Each one of the musicians keeps a strong focus on their music. Part of that concentration has lead to the introduction of their new album, A Wolf in the Doorway. This album is particularly powerful. After listening to the songs for a good solid couple of weeks, I am astounded at the passion and depth of the vocals. From the silky elegant voice of Calin to the raw intensity of Martin, we can hear the desire unleashed. Devin’s harmonies just add onto them all and a collective sound is propelled pleasantly into our ears. Oars To The Sea is a perfect example of that power. I actually felt like I was on in a storm of huge magnificence that rocked the world around me. In fact, I could go through each song and go on forever showing you the various images that pop up in my head. Then again, I feel like the crew would want their listeners to make up their own mind about each song. “We wanted to challenge ourselves and after one year of writing we made the album happen. It is not a concept album, although you can hear some the stories of our lives on the road.”
Since they travel so much, I was curious to hear about what they do in their free time. “Oh, when we are done touring we seclude to nature. We hike to get away from it all and relax. Getting outside is our priority. We also love to finally sleep in real beds and have home cooked meals.” Luckily, due to their vast family support the band has been able to return to their loved ones with immense appreciation and welcome. “We owe a lot to our families. They are the ones who fueled our love for music and have kept us going all these years.”
The Ballroom Thieves are a superbly fantastic band to follow. They are such hard workers who are pushing the boundaries in music to make ends meet. Musically, they are pure ear candy and provide satisfying tunes for the summer. Please listen to their new album and blare it on the beaches as the hot days go on. I guarantee you will get the ballroom bug and love it.