|Washboard Wilma & The Unkool Hillbillies (Sweden)|
Washboard Wilma & The Unkool Hillbillies has been on the rockin' scene since 1998. The story behind the band goes back a few years though. Anders Umegard, Ove Andersson and Jasenko Kumric had been playing rock 'n' roll and rockabilly together since 1996 in various bands and as a trio. Most famous of those bands is The Outdoorsters. In 1998 they began playing with Wilma, who at this time had sung mostly hillbilly. The act was very popular and they were frequently booked. In 1999 Claes Carlberg joined in on guitar and they took the name "The Unkool Hillbillies."
Some may argue if Washboard Wilma & The Unkool Hillbillies are genuine rockabilly. However, they are not! They are rockabilly to a large extent, but their music also consists of rock 'n' roll and hillbilly. There might even by a portion of Swedish folk music in some of their numbers. But regardless of what kind of song they play (and yes, most songs are rockin' tunes) - they play it authentic. Even though they play hillbilly in a way that would please Jimmie Rodgers, Slim Clark, Patsy Montana or Doe Watson, this band is best known for their wild rock 'n' roll shows. These guys (and Wilma) have fun onstage, and try to vary the songs as much as possible. They work well together and there is much room for improvisation.
Anders Umegard - piano/vocals
Anders, who also is a very skilled accordion player (he also plays the guitar, fiddle and bass) writes most of the songs. He has performed with many other bands (piano or accordion) and is billed by Sweden's biggest newspaper as "The major act in Swedish rock-a-billy". Despite his enthusiasm for rockabilly, Anders is very devoted in folk music (not only hillbilly). He studied at the university for five years, took two degrees and is now developing diary farm equipment.
Claes Carlberg - guitar/vocals
Claes is also a top bass player, and he too plays regularly in other bands. He was lost a few years singing the blues before returning to rockabilly in 1999. Claes is a mechanical engineer and works as a consultant. His hobbies include eating strange food and hunting, but his life is music. Whenever he gets the possibility, he brings his bass and his guitar and goes downtown to the pub Stampen, where jam sessions are held regularly.
Ove Andersson - bass/vocals
Ove may look a bit dangerous, the only band member with beard and tattoos, but he is as gentle as a lamb. He sings in a choir, has spent many years at the university and now works with linguistics. Ove also plays the guitar quite well, but his main instrument is the bass. Whenever he gets the time, Ove rows his boat out on the lake Malaren and for relaxing and fishing.
Jasenko Kumric - drums
There is not much to say about Jasenko's drumming. He uses a minimal drum-kit and mostly plays while standing up (if it is the third night in a row, he might sit down). He hits hard and breaks lots of sticks each night. Jasenko works currently at the airport with logistics but he has worked many years as a car mechanic (cars is one of his biggest interests in his spare time). He has also worked as a sound technician and recording engineer.
Washboard Wilma - percussion/vocals
Wilma sings and plays a few percussion instruments, mostly the washboard. The washboard is a very appreciated instrument, and it adds a swinging beat to most songs live. But most of all, Wilma is a singer, and a great singer too. She handles rockin' songs and slow hillbilly songs equally well. Most rock singers have found out that singing a slow song is quite difficult, and it is often the slow songs that tells whether a singer can "sing" or not. Wilma is not only a terrific singer, but she is also a great entertainer. She was born in Sweden 20-something years ago and works as a teacher, when not performing.
144 33 Ronninge
Tel: +46 70 208 0928