Every Monday night at the Hullabaloo in West Palm Beach, the Whiskey Wasps bring their haunting but soothing sounds to Clematis Street. Billy Schmidt and his wife, Rachel DuVall, who are also the creators of the indie-rock band Raggy Monster, make up the duo and bring a different acoustic sound to their usual Raggy fans and relaxing tunes to new listeners. Their beautifully simple setup with the Whiskey Wasps is more reminiscent of when they originally started writing music together, when they were in college four years ago.
At Hullabaloo, they even have a cocktail named after them, called the Whiskey Wasp. It's made of bourbon, lemon, lime, a ginger-honey syrup, and a splash of soda. "All of their cocktails are named after dead musicians," Schmidt says. "We are actually the only live musicians on the menu. I love it. I usually drink a few every time we play."
Though the Whiskey Wasps have become regulars in West Palm, they are very busy performing all over South Florida, in coffee shops, wine bars, and other chill environments, including the Kreepy Tiki in Fort Lauderdale, where they'll perform Friday night.
The Whiskey Wasps' songs consist of half original music and half covers. Some of them are from music legends like Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, but they also tackle newer tunes such as "California Girls" by Katy Perry.
Schmidt and DuVall's original works are inspired by interesting stories that evoke emotion. Their song "The Long Grey" is based on a piece of art created by one of their close friends who takes photos of random things and then writes metaphorical stories about them. One particular image of a sidewalk with grass all over it inspired a tale about how the grass used to be one colony and then someone came in and split it into two sides. The dying grass represented dead bodies from when they had a war.
Schmidt admits that they actually play as the Whiskey Wasps more than Raggy Monster and are starting to gain new loyal fans.
Whether you stop by the Kreepy Tiki on Friday or catch them at their weekly spot on Clematis, you're sure to get a syrupy-sweet treat from this talented duo.
The Whiskey Wasps
8 p.m. Friday, September 4, at the Kreepy Tiki, 2606 S. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale, $5. Visit kreepytikitattoos.com, or call 305-803-9014
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.