25 Jul Popular Indy cover band My Yellow Rickshaw to perform Wednesday, July 11 at the Eiteljorg Museum for Summer Under the Sails concert series
The band My Yellow Rickshaw performs at the Eiteljorg on July 11
On Wednesday, July 11, the band My Yellow Rickshaw will perform for the summer-long Summer Under The Sails concert series that’s back for a fourth season at the Eiteljorg Museum. Every Wednesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. through Aug. 1, music acts will perform concerts under The Sails along the downtown canal. The concerts are free, and guests are invited to sit back and relax under The Sails, enjoy appetizers from the Museum Café and grab a drink from the cash bar. Admission to the museum, including The Reel West exhibit, is free from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays during the concert series.
The cover band My Yellow Rickshaw is known for its variety – playing popular Top 40 music covers from the ‘50s to the present. A quick search on YouTube will spawn covers of wedding staples such as “Shut Up and Dance” to fast fiddle classics such as “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” The band started as a three-piece ensemble of Nathan Klatt, Eric Maitlen and Steve Hueber, all of whom grew up on the same street together in Portland, Ind. and spent their free time playing music. After leaving their small town and getting through school, the guys – then in their mid to late 20s – made the decision to start a band. “Let’s sing some ‘chick-songs,’ be goofy and make fun of ourselves, and get serious about not being serious,’” said Nathan Klatt, lead man of the band as he recalled the early motivation of the band.
Nathan Klatt (vocals, fiddle, mandolin) sat down to share more about the band with the Eiteljorg Blog. He is eager to share stories from his full-time work as a singer and entertainer and pointed out that, “Klatt spelled backwards is ‘Talk.’” His Klatt-isms and jokes make it clear why My Yellow Rickshaw has amassed such a regular presence at Indianapolis gigs through their humor, style and “joyful chaos” on stage.
In the early years, the three bandmates performed at bars and coffee shops. Klatt was the front man playing the fiddle and leading the vocals, while Maitlen and Hueber accompanied with percussion and keyboard. “We weren’t that good musically yet, but we knew how to entertain and connect, make the audience feel like a part of the show and make fun of ourselves,” Klatt said.
The unusual name of the band, My Yellow Rickshaw, was inspired during a long-term mission trip Maitlen and Hueber took to India. While based there, they had befriended the driver of a yellow rickshaw named Gopal Singh, and decided to dedicate the name of their band to Singh and his rickshaw.
The band’s name aside, My Yellow Rickshaw’s ability to bring fun and humor to a set list of music has become their biggest appeal. As a cover band, they frequently are booked at weddings across the city. In a time where the standard and more cost-efficient way of entertainment is to hire a DJ with any song ready to go, a cover band such as My Yellow Rickshaw has to stand out.
Klatt believes that anything has the ability to entertain and connect an audience for an evening. “I don’t care if it’s a band, a DJ, a magician, a fire-breather. Whatever you have that can keep people’s attention and draw everyone in and brings an atmosphere, warmth, radiation and joy – that will have people saying years later, ‘That was awesome!’ – do it. When you have real musicians playing real music, interacting with the crowd, drawing people in and pointing out someone doing a ridiculously stupid dance move, those moments (are when) you start adding a personal touch to it,” Klatt said.
The band of three has now become a band of seven rotating members. Maitlen and Hueber have since moved on to other projects – and now Jeremy Lee (drums and percussion), Jonas Miller (keyboards, vocals and harmonica), Ryan Fitzpatrick (drums and percussion), Rick Stump (guitar and vocals), Cory Carleton (electric and upright bass, vocals) and Steven Lott (audio engineer, photographer and public relations) join Klatt. Despite their expanded ensemble, My Yellow Rickshaw performs with no more than four people on stage. “We can do a duo or trio, but we’ve found that four is the right number to create the energy we want to get and create the full sound we need,” Klatt said.
In terms of sound, My Yellow Rickshaw performs Top 40 hits from every decade and genre. Most bands throughout the Summer Under The Sails series have brought a folk and Americana style, whereas My Yellow Rickshaw invites the crowd to dance and sing along. “The summer concert series looks for a variety of bands, as musical tastes tend to vary. MYR plays newer hits that you can sing along with, which definitely added to the series this summer,” said Sandy Schmidt, public programs coordinator here at the Eiteljorg.
To learn more about upcoming concerts for #SummerUnderTheSails please visit http://bit.ly/2Mst3ZK.