One of New York CIty’s most beloved and talked-about bands, VKB Band transforms the songs of Tom Waits, showing them in a new light, a genre unto themselves, while maintaining the original humor and pathos. Their repertoire explores the vast landscape of Waits’ styles, by turns danceable and philosophical, humorous, unsettling and heart-warming.
The beautiful song melodies are unearthed by breathtakingly gorgeous and inventive three-part harmonies and often surprising arrangements, via an array of instruments including accordion, guitar, percussion, harmonium, banjo, bottles and bells.
is Rachelle Garniez, Amanda Homi and Mamie Minch, a superpower trio of seasoned musicians and songwriters dedicated to redefining the songs of Tom Waits via gorgeous vocal harmonies and a treasure trove of instruments including various squeezeboxes, an array of exotic percussion and a couple of groovy vintage guitars. Together they create a world of sound at once powerful, playful and poignant.
VKB interprets the Tom Waits songbook with love, bringing a uniquely feminine perspective to the rough and rugged wreckage.
The mythic picaresque male archetypes – beat poets, railroad hobos, sloppy drunks, hard-boiled cynics and hopeless romantics, the starring roles in Waits’ story-songs – are transformed, their beauty and vulnerability revealed. Melodies burst forth and shine like polished gems.
Picture the Triplets of Belleville disguised as Depression Era hobos riding the rails across America stopping to play dance parties and funerals along the road to nowhere.
Their second album, “Yesterday Is Here” recorded in NYC, is a continuation in the ongoing saga of the group’s dynamic relationship to the songs of Waits. The past two years of performing for audiences on stages throughout Europe and the US, navigating the constraints of the pandemic age, have instilled in them an extra edge of appreciation for the stripped-down beauty and power of their sound and an immediately touching quality to their music, which comes through in the warmth and intimacy of the recording.
“Defying convention at every turn works in favor of VKB….the results here are glorious.” – Rock ‘n’ Roll Truth
“The music-noir trio tames the beast with beauty” – Jeff Spevak
While most of the songs are built around the signature ensemble vocals, each member of the band is also featured individually, organically choosing a Waits song that best fits their personality.
The name of the band is an adaptation of a Woody Allen movie title. As the film centers on the story of three strong women and their complicated dance around a male character, it is a reflection of the group’s dynamic and mission. There is a playfulness to the reference, a sly wink and a reclaiming of female power.
Their first CD, “Pawn Shop Radio” takes its’ title from a lyric in the bluegrass tinged ominous version of “Gun Street Girl”.
The recording’s material ranges from the sentimental to the raucous, joyfully borrowing influences from around the world.
“Tango ’Til They’re Sore” is a salute to the sonic palette of Emir Custurica’s films. “Cold Cold Ground” combines 1960’s American Girl Group beats. “Jersey Girl” is a celebration of the vibrant Latin-American community across the river from New York City.”I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” is a trip to Louisiana Cajun country, driven by the washboard and accordion, and the beat goes on.