Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires: Biography
Ted Hefko and The Thousandaires bring original stories to life with the spontaneity of jazz, the bare-bones sensibility of early folk and the vibrancy of New Orleans. Their latest album, If I Walked on Water, opens with a playful song of courtship in the language of the King James Bible. We’re off on a jovial journey through the Jazz Age and it’s varied musical children, from Dixieland and New Orleans R&B, to Folk and Country. The spectrum of American songwriting spans from the elegance and sophistication of Duke Ellington to the lyrical virtuosity of Bob Dylan. In between, we encounter a myriad of ways to split the difference, from Johnny Mercer to Dr. John. Ted Hefko is finding his own way to toe the line with wry lyrics over stirring rhythms, with the optimism and dogged determination that define America’s musical heritage.
Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Ted Hefko moved to New Orleans on a Greyhound Bus when he was 18 and fresh out of high school. He chose to travel by bus to buy himself a little time to make the adjustment and also so he could pack more. His luggage totaled two guitars, a saxophone, cooking utensils, books, cassettes, and a pin-striped suit. He rode next to a Memphis call-girl, nearly twice his age, who entertained him with stories of the ins and outs of the business as they rode.
The Thousandaires rhythm section has coalesced around Guitarist Luca Benedetti who brings his knowledge, not just of jazz, but of bluegrass, folk-blues and country, Bassist Scott Ritchie, whose experience includes Jazz Mandolin Project, Tony Bennet, Lady Gaga, Frank Sinatra Jr. and State Dept. tours of the Middle East. Moses Patrou, a lifelong friend of Hefko's, who contributes his infectious pocket on the drum set as well as percussion, along with backup vocals and even a little piano.
The group maintains a strong presence in Brooklyn, New Orleans and Austin Texas, and they're looking forward to hitting the road hard in 2013 to expand their reach.
If I Walked on Water