Hell Among The Hedgehogs – Matt Munisteri and Whit Smith, Workshop/House Concert

Date(s) - Sat, Jun 18, 2022
4:00 pm-9:00 pm

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Chromatic Studios


Hell Among The Hedgehogs is the passion project of guitarists Matt Munisteri and Whit Smith. The two share a musical kinship that was cemented late one night, during the final decade of the previous century, when the two touring musicians found themselves perched on neighboring barstools in the French Quarter after their respective gigs in New Orleans. Around midnight the guitar cases were opened and they played for a gathering crowd until the bar was eventually legally obligated to close its doors – giving the now large crowd the option to stay ’til morning – and they only stopped once the doors were unlocked and their happy audience could spill into the misty glare of Royal Street at dawn. In the decades since, each has found his career in wrangling the sparkling combination of Hot Jazz, Swing, Country-and-Western, and The Electric Spanish Guitar: It’s gone in-and-out of style, but whether you call it “Redneck Jazz”, “Cow-Bop”, “Western Swing”, or “Hillbilly Bebop”, this lucky mash-up of Harlem and Hayseed will be with us as long as dandelions sprout through the cracks of city sidewalks.

After decamping from NYC for points out west Whit Smith co-founded “The Hot Club of Cowtown” and, in the course of more than a quarter century of relentless touring and recording with this storied Austin-based trio, he’s spread the gospel of Western Swing far and wide, and inspired legions of burgeoning retro guitarists in the process. Choosing instead to stick close to his Brooklyn hometown Matt Munisteri is a first-call jazz/session guitarist in NYC who leads his own bands while working with lots of swinging jazz luminaries (Catherine Russell, Mark O’Connor, Jon-Erik Kellso and The EarRegulars), jazzy singer-songwriters (Kat Edmondson, Madeline Peyroux), jazzy roots musicians (Loudon Wainwright, Robbie Fulks), and even jazzy downtown adventurers (Steven Bernstein, Henry Butler, Greg Cohen). Between their different projects Matt and Whit stay very busy and usually only get to reunite when they again happen to be playing in the same town, so this will mark a very rare east coast reappearance of Hell Among The Hedgehogs. Audiences can expect to hear two internationally recognized guitar masters go to town on some honky-tonkin’ hot jazz stomps, bring it back home with some vocal “brother-style” harmonies, and even sweetly croon one or two ballads for your beer-tears.