Our series with Sherwood’s Music — showcasing local musicians through stripped-down performances for the web — is returning for a limited run this summer. This week Krekel and Whoa perform “What’s Up With Asheville.”
Alt-folk-meets-punk-rock duo Ami Worthen and Jason Krekel — previously known as Mad Tea Party, Mad Tea or The Moodees and now performing as Krekel and Whoa — have “played more places together than either of us can remember,” according to their band bio.
The duo started by mostly playing covers with some original material inspired by early jazz, old-time and a fun array of instrumentation from ukulele to banjo to slide whistle. Over their years of playing together, Worthen and Krekel incorporated more of a garage-pop and rockabilly retro vibe to their music. The pair have recorded several albums (mostly as Mad Tea Party) including 2004’s 73% Post Consumer Novelty, 2006’s Big Top Soda Pop and 2008’s Found A Reason.
Worthen has previously performed with Snake Oil Medicine Show’s Caroline Pond as a duo called Sugar and Spice and as part of a tropical band The Hula Cats. She also works as a writer, communications professional and community activist and maintains the website Asheville Action. In addition to his work as a visual artist, Krekel has played in Asheville bands for over two decades, including the Krektones, Firecracker Jazz Band, The Lowdown Sires and The Sufi Brothers. Worthen and Krekel both perform as part of rumba band Coconut Cake.
Also appearing in “What’s Up With Asheville?” is Sheneika Smith. Smith is the founder of Date My City, a social organization that promotes cultural advancement of minority communities. Smith is a community activist, minister, writer and a regular contributor at The Asheville Blade.
This video web series is produced by Mountain Xpress and Sherwood’s Music, a local, independent repair and consignment shop specializing in modern and vintage gear. Sherwood’s is located at 180 Patton Ave.
Krekel and Whoa (featuring Sheneika Smith) performing live at Sherwood’s Music. Video by Carrie Eidson and Sarah Whelan.