David Wax is a scholar of both Mexican folk music and the country’s native stringed instruments. With his group the David Wax Museum, he is able to use his collection of Mexican guitars to create a potent mix of indie-rock and folk tunes. The result is truly genre-blurring.
The David Wax Museum stopped by our offices on their Summer 2011 tour, before heading back east to perform at the Newport Folk Festival. They performed the tune “Yes, Maria, Yes” from their album Everything Is Saved.
David Wax is playing a handmade jarana, an 8-string instrument that is tuned not unlike a ukulele (G CC eE aa g). Meanwhile, yes, that is a donkey jawbone (also known as a quikjada) being played by Suz Slezak. Also in the mix: drums and a baritone saxophone. It’s an unlikely musical instrument lineup but we were amazed at how good everything sounded together!