Ida Mae Specker & The Honest Mistakes 11 Feb 2015 on Rocket Shop

Words by Jess Slayton. Photo by Sophie Ward.

On Wednesday, Ida Mae Specker, Rio Mueller, and Faith Wood of Ida Mae and the Honest Mistakes sat down with Big Heavy World’s Brent on our local music radio show Rocket Shop on 105.9 The Radiator! The trio hails all the way from southern Vermont, and was up here visiting and playing in Burlington for the first time ever. Unfortunately, I was unable to make their Thursday night show with The Tenderbellies at Nectar’s as part of Nectar’s Bluegrass Thursday residency, which made me feel even luckier to have had the chance to hear them on Rocketshop. Ida Mae and the Honest Mistakes plays old-time traditional music, from which many modern styles owes a debt to today. They also blend in a bit of modernity themselves by working in some of Faith’s original country songs into their repertoire. During the show, they transitioned seamlessly between the two, and it was clear that they had mastered both sides and functioned extremely well together. They even looked the part, with Ida Mae and Faith in matching shirts and Rio in a color-coordinated suit.

Specker was raised in a musical family, and grew up listening to her father play the Appalachian fiddle, which she now plays.  She joked that it was at some points embarrassing—we all know how it is during teenage years!—but after college, kind of came back around and felt a new appreciation for the music and artistry that went into it. Specker said that their music seeks to combine the southern influences of the Appalachian area from which Traditional music is based with the northern influence that she been subject to in growing up in Vermont. She sang and played the fiddle in the first two songs that we were fortunate enough to hear, and played the washboard in the final song, which was written by Wood. Wood also provided vocals for all three songs and played the guitar, and said that she also writes punk and rock —the rhythmic consistency between punk and traditional music was sensible in the song she wrote, and Brent rightly pointed out a comparison to The Devil Makes 3, another Vermont based band. Mueller sang as well, and played a washtub bass of his own creation that consisted of a stand, a washtub, a string, and a stick. It was truly impressive to watch, and fascinating to learn that playing a washtub bass is about the pressure and pull you put into the string rather than the placement. Ida Mae and the Honest Mistakes is definitely a band to watch out for — I for one am certainly hoping to see them return to Burlington for more! For more info visit [powerpress]