“Demolition String Band’s members are across-the-board connoisseurs; master instrumentalists, lyricists and entertainers while Skye is a vocal treasure.”
With a shared passion for country roots, rock ‘n roll, bluegrass and mountain music, singer/songwriter Elena Skye (Chicago, IL) and multi-instrumentalist Boo Reiners (Charlotte, N.C.) front the NYC based Demolition String Band. They both had started out young, taking lessons, slowing down classic recordings, jamming with anyone and everyone and playing in bluegrass bands. Their paths first crossed in an independent bookstore in Hoboken, N.J. co-owned and managed by Elena. Their after-hours jams at Blackwater Books and nearby pubs led them to form a band.
“The name Demolition String Band came from the environment around Hoboken at the time Boo and I formed the band. They were demolishing smaller, older homes and putting up big condo complexes to take advantage of the more upscale crowd that was moving into town.” says Elena.
They soon found their way to a growing bluegrass and country scene across the river in the Lower East Side in NYC. Boo remembers, “That was a great time for us. We were able to immerse ourselves in the music we love, and soon were ready to record an album and hit the road.”
They have since released several albums, toured the USA and Europe, sharing bills with a wide range of acts such as The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams, Joan Osborne, Patti Smith, Ricky Skaggs, Southern Culture On The Skids, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and Roger McGuinn, playing marquis venues in all over the States as well as festivals and pub gigs in Ireland and Europe. They’s performed on live radio shows like “WDVX ‘s The Blue Plate Special” (Knoxville TN), “Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour” (Lexington Kentucky) and in “WFUV’s Words & Music Live In Studio A with Rita Houston” (NYC).
In 2016 Demolition String Band will release two CDs, the first a collection of Elena’s originals produced by Boo and financed by fans thru a successful Kickstarter campaign, which follows the band’s first Kickstarter campaign funded in 2011 and resulted in the releases “Certificated” and “Gracious Days.” The year’s second release, “Get Waxed!” is an EP of wax cylinder recordings made at The Thomas Edison Museum where Elena and Boo had been invited to record in front of a live audience. Soon after the duo will return to Ireland for their fourth tour of The Emerald Island near the end of October.
In September 2014 The Demolition String Band’s song “Go Coney Island, Roll On The Sand” (lyrics Woody Guthrie/music Elena Skye) was included in the Grammy nominated three CD set “My Name Is New York: Ramblin’ Around Woody Guthrie’s Town.” The project includes interviews with Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Ramblin’ Jack, Bob Dylan and others as well as Woody Guthrie song collaborations by Del McCoury Band, Billy Bragg and Wilco.
Elena and Boo worked with Amy Poehler and Upright Citizens Brigade on Comedy Central and The Conan O’Brian show, and their music appeared in “History Detectives” as well as the documentary “Burning The Future: Coal In America.” Since donating their music to the film they have performed at various Stop Mountain Top Removal events and at an “Appalachian Rising” action and conference in Washington, DC.
With a truly memorable and unique collection of songs, the Demolition String Band loves to thrill a sweaty dance floor wit their dangerous rhythm section, or pick and sing old-school around a single microphone juggling banjo, mandolin and guitars while weaving rustic, taut harmony vocals with tall tales and truth, joy and heartbreak, despair and redemption.