Blues, Rags, and Hollers

Paul Dandy and Ben Weaver revive a folk music of finger-clackers, empty whiskey bottles, and discarded mule jawbones

Encouragement from other musicians hasn't been hard to come by for either Weaver or Dandy, thanks to their (seemingly endless) supply of demo tapes sent out (seemingly uncannily) at just the right times. One of the tapes landed them at the dinner table of Janine Van Zandt, widow of Townes Van Zandt. Another fell into the hands of Tom Waits, who left a birthday message on Dandy and Weaver's Unit 3 record-label answering machine.

"He was laughing the whole time, saying how great he thought our stuff was," Dandy recalled. "He couldn't have known it was my birthday. Whenever some club owner screws us out of money for a show, I replay that message, and it gives me a little boost."

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