The Ballroom Thieves

The Ballroom Thieves are:

Martin Earley – Vocals and Guitar
Devin Mauch – Vocals and Percussion
Calin Peters – Vocals and Cello
The Ballroom Thieves at The Royale photo credit by Mike Spencer

With a slow, deliberate build, the Ballroom Thieves make their presence known onstage immediately as the first chord is struck, transforming any size room, whether it be a large ballroom or a small club, into a remarkably intimate environment.

Formed in 2011, the Ballroom Thieves take the sincere, narrative blueprint of folk music and infuse it with the attitude of rock, the soul of blues, and the sweat and fervor of a revival tent. That spirit makes its way into both their recorded music as well as their live performances, as Martin Earley (guitar, vocals), Devin Mauch (percussion, vocals), and Calin Peters (cello, vocals) attack their instruments and harmonies with the same energy onstage as in the studio.

Garnering regional and national acclaim for both of their releases to date, 2012’s The Devil And The Deep, and 2013’s self-titled EP, the Thieves have been branching out from their native Boston. Their energy, passion, and songwriting craft earning them national touring spots with established bands such as the Lone Bellow, Dispatch, Little Green Cars, the Wheeler Brothers, and Houndmouth, among others.

FROM THE HOSTESS

Happily, happily posting this "pop-up" show, inserted within the boundaries of Thanksgiving and Christmas... because it was the only time they could play The Big Room! Step back from the hectic transition of the winter holidays to replace the lost pieces of yourself and have an experience you will not forget! The Ballroom Thieves are on their way up and will remind you that it's bands like this that shatter the popular music ceiling with quiet bravado and soulful, stripped down dynamics - not unlike The Lumineers and still uniquely worth a place in your heart. Thank you, Darlingside, for the recommendation and thank you, Thieves, for making time in your schedule to keep small music rolling.   -Nani

p.s. shortly after this show, Mike blundered out loud to the Thieves that he was so happy they were playing Harmonium Fest II... they weren't booked. Shortly after THAT, they were because they had such a great time playing The Big Room that they wanted to. And so, Harmonium Music Fest II co-headlined 2 Newport Folk artists - The Ghost of Paul Revere and The Ballroom Thieves. (Summer 2015)


The room is dark, as feet shuffle and people slowly mill about the open space in front of the barely-lit stage. The hiss as beer cans are cracked open mixes in with the swilling of whiskey and the dropping of ice in glasses and throwaway cups. It’s a lively, talkative crowd that starts moving closer and closer to the stage as the room lights dim and the stage lights come on. All of a sudden, the simple, lightly-strummed chords of “Coward’s Son” echo over that intimate room, and as Martin Earley’s vocals come into play, the melody continues to build, adding layer after layer. The low end of Calin Peters’ cello adds a haunting, echoing rhythm to the bright chime of Earley’s guitar part, while the accents of cymbal hits, djembe, and floor tom from Devin Mauch introduce the heartbeat of the group, their soaring three-part harmonies, with a bang. As the song grows, the band transforms from a folk three-piece in a small room into an arena-filling orchestra of soul, spilling their raw emotions into every microphone and corner. Audiotree said of the performance, “Three unique voices separate and intertwine to emit one call, channeling sounds from the Delta and bits of old Gospel guises and transcends this Boston trio’s urban roots.”

Truly a high-energy rock trio performing under the guise of well-crafted, emotionally sincere folk, the Thieves have released two well-received EPs since getting their start three years ago. With a strong presence in the Boston area and New England, they have received press from local blog luminaries such as Allston Pudding, who said of the Thieves live performance, “The intensity and passion The Ballroom Thieves had for the songs they delivered- it was hard to believe it was just three of them.” The Thieves have begun to branch out from New England, touring around the country with well-known stalwarts such as The Lone Bellow, Dispatch, Railroad Earth and Houndmouth, among others.

Their first EP, The Devil and the Deep, placed a heavy emphasis on experimentation and finding the identity of the band’s sound. Tracks range from uptempo rock beats (“Loose Lips,” “Vampires”), to slower, more soulful tunes (“Save Me,” “Delia”). “Wait for the Water” is is a homey, folk classic in the making, with a slow single-guitar buildup making way for a boot-stomping finale, complete with banjos and those trademark soaring three-part harmonies.

On their follow up, self-titled EP, the Thieves showcase a much more coherent sound, reflecting a much grittier, frenetic energy that could easily be mistaken for a whiskey-filled revival tent setting. The stomp of opening track, “Down By the River” reflects this intent to make a record that best captures their live performances. While “Armada” and “Droves” still reflect this intent, the slower dynamic of “Coward’s Son” provides a haunting contrast to the other three swampier, low-end-driven drinking songs. With deeply personal lyrics and a gradual, lit-fuse-like build, Earley showcases his ability to work in the context of an established genre and make it his own. The sound of the Thieves is one of an impassioned brand of folk music that combines deft instrumentation and expressive lyricism with an emotionality that seems to be missing in lots of folk music today. In a recent interview with Grateful Web, the Thieves said of their new EP, “we made a conscious choice of including songs that hit hard. We think our show is a lively mix of upbeat songs and slower, more introspective tunes, so these four songs are meant to give the listener a good idea of what to expect when he or she makes it to a Ballroom Thieves show.”

-Adam Parshall

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