The only slapping sound fans will hear coming from the Asylum Street Spankers is the sound of guitar strings being plucked. While their name conjures up unprintable images, the Asylum Street Spankers are not that kind of band, but rather a mass of vaudevillian musicians who focus their energy on creating a unique combination of blues and early jazz.

In keeping with their old-time music sensibilities, the Asylum Street Spankers are an entirely acoustic group – they don’t use any mics or amps when performing. As lead singer Wammo explained in an interview with Spectator Online, “We’re not trying to be fascists about not using electricity, we just like the way it sounds. We like the fact that it’s much more intimate – you never surrender the quality of your show over to a sound man.”

Although their music might jive with an older audience fed on the innocent tunes of the ‘20s and ‘30s, the Asylum Street Spankers are all rock n’ roll when it comes to lyrics. Their interests lay in your basic sex, drugs, and booze-type themes, all the while deftly disguised by an Americana musical backing.

Incidentally, their name comes from an early definition of the word “spanker” which means someone who vigorously plays the guitar – a perfect description of their music and a cheeky nod to some of their more risque lyrics.