A few years ago while researching the local music scene in Southeast Wisconsin for a photography event (Blues to the Rescue: A Story in Photographs), I found out about the local band, "The Incorruptibles." So I contacted, Amy Ashby (Lead vocals/Upright bass) who was gracious enough to give me an interview. It took me a few years, but some user-friendly tech enabled me to finally present the interview to you. - - - Enjoy ! (Leanne w/SEWI Blues and Jazz).
"The Incorruptibles" between sets at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds.: L to R, Bill Siebert (Drums-Backing Vocals), Amy Ashby, (Upright Bass-Lead Vocals) and JImmy McCarthy, (Guitar-Lead Vocals). (Summer, 2014)
What inspired you to name your band, The Incorruptibles?
Jimmy actually came across it. It's in reference to the religious belief that:
- "Godly intervention allows some human bodies (specifically saints and beati) to avoid the normal process of decomposition after death as a sign of their holiness. Bodies that undergo little or no decomposition, or delayed decomposition, are sometimes referred to as incorrupt or incorruptible."
He brought it up as a potential band name and we loved it. It's catchy and provokes all kinds of interaction with fans. Coming up with a good, catchy band name is always a challenge!
Your bio mentions being “vocal-driven.” With a trio of such talented musicians what does that mean?
We feel that in general, vocals in a band are often not the center of attention – especially in blues bands. Since Jimmy and I are sharing the lead vocals, and Bill can also harmonize, we wanted to really make the vocals stand out. We do some duets and we do some harmonizing.
The Incorruptibles at the 'Tonic Tavern' in the Bayview neighborhood of Milwaukee, WI (December 2014),
With both male and female lead vocals, fans get a variety. We set out to focus on that from practice #1, and it's paid off – fans love it!
You continue to be part of jam sessions with some of the local blues legends. Was it easy to get your foot in the door?
Prior to moving to Milwaukee, I was an active blues musician in northern WI. Reverend Raven often tours (that area) and he was one of few musicians I knew when I moved here. Just a week after moving down, I caught him at Mamie's on 33rd & National. He asked if I wanted to sit in and play some bass. That's really where I got my foot in the door, so to speak.
Reverend Raven (L) with Westside Andy (R) at the Paramount Blues Festival in Lime Kiln Park, Grafton, WI (September 2014)
From there, I returned the next week to their Tuesday night blues jam and played and sang. I met musicians there that told me about other blues jams, even those that are unadvertised, and it went from there. For several months, I'd go out 3-4 nights a week and jam. I immersed myself into the local blues scene.
"I’ve been playing with Stokes at Mamie's as the house bass player during their Tuesday night blues jam for the last few years, and we've become pals. It's a real treat to play with someone like him and I have enjoyed every minute backing him up on bass."