Harmoniously Wail seamlessly blends an eclectic array of styles Django Reinhardt inspired jazz, Eastern European gypsy swing, American jazz standards, and contemporary folk to create their own distinctive sound.
Its Jethro Burns fault, says Harmonious Wail founder and leader Sims Delaney-Potthoff of the bands unique, enticing style of mandolin-heavy gypsy-jazz. For seven years Sims studied with Burns, the legendary jazz mandolinist, laying the foundation for Harmonious Wails acoustic string sound. He furthered his studies at Bostons Berklee College of Music, honing his skills while immersing himself in the gypsy music of Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grappelli (Sam Bush, Dan Hicks, Lester Young, David Grisman, and Louis Armstrong are also on his list of musical heroes). He founded Harmonious Wail in 1987.
Vocalist Maggie Delaney-Potthoff is a captivating performer. Equally at home scatting over a bebop tune, soaring on a solo, or blending with the Wails tight vocal harmonies, she delivers both powerhouse tunes and ballads with confidence and ease. Her sensual, sinuous movements (a product of her background in dance and theatre) and her use of a cardboard box as a drum (played with brushes) add to the charm she exudes onstage.
Supplying style and proficiency on guitar and lending vocal support with his marvelous harmonies, Tom Waselchuk contributes a contagious passion for music to Harmonious Wail. He also brings with him 23 years of professional musical experience
much of it spent in the company of mandolinist Sims Delaney-Potthoff. Their friendship and musical collaborations date back to 1979 when they co-led the Stone Oak Bluegrass Band. In 1986, the two founded the Full Count Jazz Band, a sextet that performed regularly in Madisons premier jazz clubs as well as showcases such as the Isthmus Jazz Festival. And in 2001, Tom once again teams with Sims to lend their longtime camaraderie to Harmonious Wail.
John Mesoloras' powerful, rock steady and energetic stand-up bass playing lays the foundation for the Wail's groove. The Chicago native, who sites Ray Brown, Dave Holland, Charlie Haden, Edgar Meyer as musical influences, moved to Wisconsin in 1993. A versatile bassist who performs on both the electric and double bass, John has played in a variety of settings including the Madison Jazz Orchestra, The Beloit-Janesville Symphony, The Ray Rideout Quartet (Hard Bop Jazz), and Lisa G. and Montage (R&B Soul). John has also performed abroad, including the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Netherlands.