A year ago, Thomas Wesley Stern was busking on trains and in subway terminals of the concrete jungle that is New York City where the subdued tunes found on its 2011 debut EP, Hope Folk, were more often than not overlooked by passersby. A move back to the New Jersey suburb of Jackson, a sing along with the legendary Pete Seeger, and regular performances in the storied clubs and back yards of Asbury Park have placed this four-man string band at the forefront of the Boardwalk’s burgeoning Folk scene…and yet the group has still found time to revolutionize how the recording process.
“We were playing a pop-up concert in asbury’s lovely Humor & Grace Boutique on the day of their first fashion show,” explained the band’s front-man Joe Makoviecki, “and we made friends with two cool guys.”
The two men were Kevin Grossman, a member of Asbury’s Progressive Jam Band Karmic Juggernaut, and J.R. Skola, of Dawn Of Man Productions who came to Thomas Wesley Stern with an intriguing proposition.
“They enlightened us to the fact that they were almost finished building a studio in the back of Kevin’s suburu sport utility using a big photovoltaic panel, batteries, an interface, and a laptop,” continued Makoviecki. “So we jumped right on the oppertunity to be the first band to test it out and ended up recording a whole ep of new songs.”
Continue reading to hear a pair of new tracks from Thomas Wesley Stern and another special video featuring Pete Seeger…
Full Moon Songs was recorded live under the sun in a clearing within the backwoods of Jackson, NJ and includes five brand new tracks, two of which have already been released named “Princeton City Blues” and “Close,” the former featuring an insectious choir of cicadas that lend their slithering vocals to the captivating pipe-work of Makoviecki.
“Princeton City Blues”
“The start of this band sort of coincided with the disintegration of another group I was with,” explained Makoviecki in closing. “Me, Gary [Mayer], Bob [Jackson], and James [Black] just wanted to play music and we didn’t really care what happened with it as long as we could be with people who wanted to play everyday and give everything up for the music. Now it’s a year later and we have a team of professionals who are helping us to play bigger gigs and reach larger audiences…its just truly amazing what will power and hard work can do. We just wanted to sing good songs again.”
Thomas Wesley Stern is doing just that…and more.
NOTE: In recent weeks Thomas Wesley Stern has played such area venues as The Brighton Bar, The Wonder Bar, Asbury Lanes, and The Watermark to name a few. More dates are sure to come including a gig at The College Of New Jersey on October 25th with Destry.
Thomas Wesley Stern leads a sing a long on “Mary Don’t You Weep” with surprise accompaniment by the legendary Pete Seeger.