The Mad Tea Party

Uke-abilly. Retro-Pop. Rock 'n' Roll.

Mad Tea Party brews up rock 'n' roll, garage-pop and honky tonk to create a fresh and intoxicating sound. "It's B-52s meets Buddy Holly with a lot more thump." Musical conspirators Ami Worthen and Jason Krekel serve up an exciting live show to music lovers thirsty for upbeat, original refreshment. Delicious harmonies glide over electrified ukulele, juke-joint guitar, scratchy fiddle and pulsing foot percussion. Catchy songs are steeped in raw rockabilly with shreds of doo wop and devilish blues. Drink deep - Mad Tea Party concocts a musical recipe that will make you boogie.

The band's dynamic show has been catching people's attention across the country. Metro Santa Cruz described it this way, "More a spectacle than a traditional two-person band, Mad Tea Party consists of vocalist and ukulele strummer Ami Worthen and guitarist, fiddler and drummer Jason Krekel. As Worthen reels out charming and quirky songs with an arch sense of humor, Krekel does double- and triple-duty, creating the illusion of a much bigger band with only two arms and two legs. It's a sight to behold...but Mad Tea Party's unique sound is just as worthy of note. A bubbly amalgam of juke-joint blues, pop, tiki exotica and rockabilly, the band has honed an approach that is unique and affecting without being too precious."

The Band

"Ami Worthen of Mad Tea Party leaves quite the impression in her eccentrically striped stockings, elegant evening dress and amped-up ukulele. Clearly the instrument belongs off the beach and in the hands of a woman who knows how to bring some flare to the stage" (Style Weekly). "Worthen’s voice is a honey drenched Wanda Jackson revisited. There is a sweetness that bellies the sass and charm drawling across the speakers" (Unbound Culture). Click here to read Ami's Blog.

Jason Krekel is a one man band. In Mad Tea Party, he sings and plays guitar, fiddle, and foot percussion. As one writer put it, “As Worthen strummed her ukulele, Krekel...performed an amazing ballet of musicianship nearby” (Post & Courier). The Charlotte Observer described his singing this way, "when Jason Krekel takes the lead, he lets it fly with loud abandon."

Mad Tea Party began as the solo project of songwriter Ami Worthen. Soon after, experienced multi-instrumentalist Jason Krekel joined her on vocals, guitar, and fiddle. The duo quickly caught the attention of the indie scene in their hometown of Asheville, NC. National Public Radio stations across the country began picking up their 2004 album 73% Post-Consumer Novelty. Lora Pendelton joined the band on bass later that year. The trio released Flying Saucers in 2005, also to great response on NPR stations. Mad Tea Party's breakout recording Big Top Soda Pop came out in October 2006. It was enthusiastically received at college and NPR stations nationwide, and even charted on the CMJ’s Top 200. Listeners on WNCW 88.7 FM voted Big Top Soda Pop the #2 regional release of 2006, and #54 of all releases for that year. Pendleton left the band at the time of the album's release, and bassist Joe Edel stepped in for a year.

The band returned to a high-energy duo format in late 2007. With Jason playing bass drum, snare, and high hat with his feet, and Ami plugging her ukulele into an amp, the band has developed a truly driving and danceable sound.

Mad Tea Party's latest full-length release, FOUND A REASON, came out on Nine Mile Records in 2008. This critically acclaimed recording received extensive radio play, charting on many of the nation's coolest radio stations. In October 2009, this band released ZOMBIE BOOGIE, a spooky vinyl 7-inch/digital EP that generated quite a buzz thanks in part to Boing-Boing and Rue Mourge Radio.

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