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By Sarah Hall

shall@salisburypost.com

Salisbury Post  www.salisburypost.com

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

(“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” chapter 6)

Mad Tea Party (Ami Worthen and Jason Krekel) will be headlining Friday at Looking Glass Artist Collective. photo by Scott McCormick
Mad Tea Party (Ami Worthen and Jason Krekel) will be headlining Friday at Looking Glass Artist Collective. Photo by Scott McCormick

So what more appropriately-named band to invite to their stage than Mad Tea Party? This high-energy, honky-tonk duo from Asheville brings uke-a-billy madness to the Black Box this Friday.

A march hare would feel right at home at this party, and at times Jason Krekel does appear “mad as a hatter” with his wildly enthusiastic musical delivery. He manages to deftly perform like three men, singing, alternating between guitar and fiddle, while not missing a beat playing percussion with his feet.

Ami Worthen is more rad than mad with her electric ukulele and her equally electric wardrobe, which throughout her career has gotten “curioser and curiouser.”

Her clarion vocals sparkle in quieter moments,then wend their way through any musical craziness Krekel dishes out. The joy in her voice draws the audience in.

In fact that’s what Worthen says the audience should expect when they come to the show. “We want to bring joy and make people feel good” she says. “Everybody can use more joy.”

Worthen began her mission of spreading musical happiness as a solo act in her Asheville hometown. Then things really took off when she was joined by Krekel and they released their popular 2004 album “73% Post-ConsumerNovelty.”

The duo became a trio, adding a bassist for touring and on the albums “Flying Saucers” in 2005 and “Big Top Soda Pop” which listeners to WNCW voted as the #2 regional release of 2006.

They’ve gone back to being a duo, and two of them seems plenty, as evidenced in their latest release, the album “Found a Reason” which prompted Southeast Performer magazine to describe them as, “B-52s meets Buddy Holly with a lot more thump.”

Next month, just in time for Halloween, they’ll be releasing “Zombie Boogie” as a 7-inch vinyl EP.

Opening for Mad Tea Party this Friday will be Looking Glass’ own one-man, band David Lamanno.

Lamanno is also a photographer, and an exhibit of his work will be on view in LGAC’s purple room, next door to the black box theater. The opening reception for the exhibit is at 7 p.m.

Besides musical entertainment, attendees to Friday’s event can shop from handmade crafts, view works by local artists, have their fortunes told, or get a chair massage. And there will be refresments—including tea, of course.

“Oh my ears and whiskers!” It will be madly entertaining.

Mad Tea Party is coming to Salisbury this Friday. [Photo by Jonathan Welch].

Mad Tea Party is coming to Salisbury this Friday. Photo by Jonathan Welch

Looking Glass Artist Collective is located at 405 N. Lee St.

The reception for the David Lamanno exhibit begins at 7 p.m. and is free

The show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets to the Mad Tea Party performance are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Looking Glass or at Tastebuds Coffee and Tea, 106 N. Main St.

For more information, call 704-633-2787, contact salisburyartists@gmail.com or visit http://www.salisburyartists.org.

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