Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers

Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers

 Boston, Massachusetts, USA

"Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers take songs and tunes, old and new, and infuse them with an almost punk-rock kind of energy, all the while respecting the traditions." - Matt Smith Manager of Club Passim, Cambridge, MA


Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers (BMUZ) is not your average folk band.

Founded in 2006 by four Berklee College of Music students, BMUZ decided to do something really different. They combined Scandinavian music and a nyckelharpa with American Old Time music, four and five string fiddles and a jazz and bluegrass guitarist. The result? A contemporary string band filled with epic triple fiddles, catchy melodies and driving rhythms full of raw energy and mashy quirk.

Although they think of themselves as a musical unit, the members of BMUZ each have their own individual sound. Bronwyn Bird grew up performing in musical theater. As a teenager, she discovered a nyckelharpa hanging on a neighbor’s wall, and quickly fell in love with the instrument. While spending a year in Sweden studying Swedish music, she built the nyckelharpa she currently uses. Andy Reiner grew up in a musical family and spent his childhood attending music camps where he was exposed to a myriad of styles of folk and contemporary music. He can’t choose which genre he likes playing the most, so he tends to successfully mesh them all together. Stash Wyslouch thought he was going to be an engineer until quite recently. His music has moved from heavy metal to bluegrass and jazz and draws on his Columbian and Polish background and love of reggae and funky grooves for his quirky compositions. Mariel Vandersteel grew up playing traditional Irish, Scottish and Quebecois music at contra dances as well as touring with Alasdair Fraser and the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers and with the Black Brothers. Before Berklee, she spent her summers studying music in Ireland and across the US and has spent four months studying the hardingfele in Norway.

Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers has performed across the country at the Kennedy Center (Washington DC), The Freight and Salvage (CA), Club Passim (MA) and the Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour (KY). After playing in the Emerging Artist Showcase at the 2008 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, they were voted back to perform as the 2009 FRFF’s Most Wanted Artists. Other festivals they have performed at are: Blissfest, Champlain Valley Folk Festival, the New England Folk Festival and the Boston Celtic Music Festival. They have had official showcases at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis, TN. and at the New England Regional Folk Alliance.

Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers have been called, “an extraordinary group of wonderful young musicians” (Matt Glaser, Berklee College of Music) and as, “a band you can’t put a label on.” (Matt Smith, Club Passim). Many have called BMUZ the next generation of roots and folk music and they have been compared to other genre-breaking bands such as Crooked Still, The Duhks, and Vasen. According to Paul Hartman, editor of Dirty Linen magazine, “the next generation…shows that folk/roots music is in good hands and will continue to be played and evolve…Just a few of the younger artists are Carolina Chocolate Drops, Crooked Still, Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers…” BMUZ is a truly eclectic band that continues to skillfully and creatively push the boundaries of folk music. While combining old melodies with quirky new compositions, it will be exciting to watch BMUZ’s future blossom.

2009 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Most Wanted Artist
2009 International Folk Alliance Conference - Official Showcase
2008 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival - Emerging Artist Showcase
2008 International Folk Alliance Conference - Official Showcase
2008 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance - Tricentric Showcase

Selection of past performance venues:

-The Kennedy Center
- The Freight and Salvage (CA)
- Club Passim (MA)
- Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour (KY)
- Berklee Performance Center (MA)
- Trinity Church Wall Street (NY)
- The Iron Horse (opening for The Waybacks) (MA)
- Blissfest (MI)
- Puck (PA)
- Toad (MA)
- Champlain Valley Folk Fest (VT)


New Full Length Album to be released in 2010! (Stay tuned for more details)

The Antler Sessions (2008)

Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers EP (2006)

Set List

Depending on the show, we can do:

-Two 30 minute sets
-Two 45 minute sets.

We can work out the length of set you would like.

Some tunes we usually do are:

Burbank St (B.Bird)
Saucy Sailor (trad.)
Roust About (trad.)
Sail Away Ladies (trad.)
Welcome to My Cave (S. Wyslouch)
Lost in Lowell (M.Vandersteel)/Fiddle Woody Jones (A.Reiner)
Cafe (trad.)
Moose Schottise
Brushy Run
and many others....