The Ludlow Thieves make rock music spiced with classical and country influences, roots impulses, and a slight punk spirit. Their music can have a tender touch or be subtle as a ballet with bulls.
Over the short few months that the band has been together, they have scored (and will be featured in) the independent feature film Herman & Shelly and have had a song chosen as the theme song for a NASCAR team based in South Carolina. This has all happened before they have even finished their first album.
The Ludlow Thieves were born in the bedroom of the band's guitarist and primary songwriter, Dan Teicher. Many years ago, he fancied himself a guitar tickler before deciding that, since guitar solos need a song to live in, he would transition from vagabond to homemaker; he became a songwriter. Songwriting and guitar playing led to a deeper interest in the structure and history of music, and the son of a gun became a classical composer with a Master’s degree. He mixed his musical sauce with mandolins and banjos, garnished the dish with some digital effects, and found himself writing lyrics over his aural concoctions; the lyrics tended to explore a rambunctious little town called New York City and the rowdy characters in it.
Eventually, DT went hunting for a singer that could bring the music to new heights and add a special spice to the dish. He played with countless hooligans along the way, but, ultimately, found the voice of The Ludlow Thieves in Danny Musengo. A mutual friend passed along Danny’s name to DT at a birthday party (where the friend said Danny sounded like “Rod Stewart on two packs of smokes”), suggesting the two get together to jam. Danny’s warm rasp and gritty howl was the perfect counterpart to the musical textures in The Thieves music, bringing a unique rawness and conviction to the songs. As a gifted painter and visual artist, Danny brings an artistic eye to the music, but he also flexes a well-honed songwriter’s perspective to the music. A native of Iowa, where he grew up singing gospel music, Danny moved to New York and found a scene that welcomed his talents and a partner in crime in DT.
DT initially contacted Danny to re-sing an album he had just completed, but before committing the time and money to the process of re-recording, DT wanted to make sure that the two could work together comfortably for the long run. Within a few weeks, they had a new album’s worth of material and started making moves to record it.
Days before the duo was set to record some of the songs, the drummer scheduled for the sessions tore ligaments in his right hand. In a panic, DT contacted another mutual friend asking for a drummer that was “trained in jazz, had rock ferocity, and knows the pocket of a beat like a funk drummer.” He was given the name of Walker Adams, a Berklee Grad from the Upper West Side of Manhattan who had played with St. Vincent. The sessions went so well, both musically and personally, that Walker was immediately asked to become a permanent member of the band. Together, the trio have sculpted tunes equally at home in Nashville and Brooklyn.
The Ludlow Thieves are DT, Danny and Walker, but a revolving cast of hoodlums fleshes out their sound by shaking, scraping, banging, slapping, singing, stabbing, and seducing music out of their instruments. They have found friends in pianists, string ensembles, orchestral brass players, jazz trumpeters and saxophonists, and countless audio engineers. These mischievous melodic mutts are essential to bringing The Thieves’ indulgences to musical fruition live and in the studio.
The sound is occasionally lush and often covered in dust; it is a rustic exploration of the grand and the intimate. DT says of the music’s roots: “I used some acoustic ditties as the foundation of some grander ambitions to experiment with my other musical musings. I thought it might be fun to toss rock and country and classical and folk and some other tasty treats into a stew and see how it tasted.” The arrangements on the album—employing acoustic and electric guitars, strings, mandolins,…