The Shmoes

The Shmoes, an ecclectic group of musically inclined lay-backs who've been "playing nice" for four years, consists of Flo Shmoe, Ole Fat-Chord Shmoe, Joe Shmoe, Double Beaux Shmoe, Tempo Shmoe, and Doc Shmoe. They're popularity is attributed to the fact that they enjoy performing and have a really good time with their audiences with songs ranging from the 1920s to '80s. Sing along, dance, or just bounce: the Shmoes are "oddly compelling."

Flo Shmoe has performed professionally for more than three decades, playing vocal chords, guitar, and percussion toys. Her first gig was at The bitter End in Greenwich Village and she once emceed and performed on her own TV show in New York City. She's also known as Flo Nightingale (without a roost) because she nurses the band along.

After 40 years in the biz, playing with the likes of the New Christie Minstrels, Waylon Jennings, and The Grateful Dead at venues such as the '62 World's Fair and in Nashville, Ole Fat-Chord Shmoe considers the group his favorite because "We love the music." He's mostly on a 12-string guitar and banjo for performances but also plays the piano and coronet and even admits to playing the accordion.

Is it industrial gospel or industrial gossip that Double Beaux Shmoe most enjoys listening to? He himself is an industrial-strength bassist with a singing repertoire that saves the group from having to hire at least a half dozen others. He's been playing bass, guitar, and drums for "over six months" and fondly recalls his first paying gig at the Rendezvous room in 1991.

The "hold-and-grin guy," Joe Shmoe (just your average guy) began his sporadic entertainment career detailing Dodge Darts while learning to play one-string blues from a co-worker (the used car lot manager turned a deafear). His big break came in Chicago opening for Bob Gibson and he's "been trying to fix it ever since."

Cleverly hiding from Shmoe notoriety is the percussionist and all-around musician (drums, sax, bass, guitar), Tempo, who's now playing for two and will soon be taking a short leave. Tempo first played professionally on bass for the group Briss and went on to play Seattle Peace Concerts and the Hemp Fest with the Rossis. She and Double Beaux have played together in various bands for almost a decade. Soukous is her current favorite music genre.

Doc Shmoe, keyboardist, has enjoyed a long career in music because his bosses at the laboratory where he's a scientist advised him not to give up his night job. He joined the group just this year. His decades-long history with doo-wop puts him among the best of the harmonizers.