By: Jailene Adorno
The Ballroom Thieves have really come a long way. As a folk-rock, Boston-based band, they went from playing in Faneuil Hall to touring around the country and now come May, they’ll be playing at Boston Calling. They’ve released a couple of EPs throughout the years and their debut album A Wolf in the Doorway is being released April 21st.
“It’s a combination of a lot of hard work and a lot of support and a lot of luck,” Martin Earley said of the band’s success thus far. “So I think that between those three things, we have a lot to be proud of, but also a lot to be thankful for.”
This debut album A Wolf in the Doorway is a project of theirs that they are very proud of. It’s something that they really want to share with others. This is their first complete project that has incorporated the new influence of their cellist Calin Peters. On air, they described the process for making their music as a sort of “organic growth” that just really came together. They draw inspiration for their music from the different relationships they’ve had as well as their life on the road.
The band was first started by Martin Earley (guitar) and Devin Mauch (percussion) while they were at Stonehill College. During that time, they just went by their own names and then as they started to play more and add members to the band, Earley thought of the term “Ballroom Thieves.” Earley had gone to the the Newport Folk Festival one year and had an epiphany over the name.
“I like the imagery of people…thieves kind of dressing up in old times and going to fancy balls,” said Earley.
The Ballroom Thieves also shared what they love most about touring and performing.
“My favorite part of touring is performing,” said Peters. “My favorite part about performing would have to be…how different each night could be.”
For guitarist, Martin Earley, it’s all about moving people and making a connection with the audience.
“It means the world when you see someone connecting with the music the way you do,” said Devin Deuch.
First, they performed “Storms,” which is a ballad with truly beautiful lyrics. The opening lines alone make you fall in love with their authentic sound, “I said, ‘I am no evil man,’ and then I paused as if convinced of what that meant…” Those lines are soon followed by harmonious “Oooos” from all three members of the band. The raspiness of Earley’s voice created a warm undertone as Peters and Mauch danced through the song with backing vocals.
Next, they sang a song off of their debut album called “Oars to the Sea.” They mentioned that this song was about growing up and the essence of the song is truly captured within the growl in Martin’s voice as he sings. It was in “Oars to the Sea” that we got to hear more from Peters, as she showcased her talent on the cello midway through the song.
Lastly, the Ballroom Thieves sang “Archers,” which is another song that can be found on their album A Wolf in the Doorway. This was yet another song with truly mesmerizing lyrics such as, “Shiver through the words I said, they’re warmer than the ones that never left my head…” As Earley continued singing, the sound of the cello danced through the melody being played on the acoustic guitar which created this really beautiful and authentic tone.
The Ballroom Thieves as a whole are really genuine people. The chemistry between the band members as friends and musicians was very sincere. They joked about a game they play called “Odds,” in which one might say to the other, “What are the odds that you would run across the Boston Common with no shirt on?” and then the other would have to approximate the odds. Their conversations back and forth were fun and light-hearted. At one point, Devin Mauch described their sound as “rock and folkin’ roll.”
Be sure to check out the Ballroom Thieves’ debut album The Wolf in the Doorway which will be released on April 21st. Don’t forget to listen in for more music from your favorite artists during Live Music Week!