Widgets Magazine

Spotlight on Ballyhoo!

Expanding Their Fanbase Through the Festival Circuit

GENRE: Reggae/Punk
HOMETOWN: Baltimore, MD
ARTISTIC APPROACH: Playfully mixing reggae and punk.

Ever talked your way out of handcuffs at a burrito store? Nope, didn’t think so. Ballyhoo! on the other hand…well, they have. One of the members of this reggae-infused punk band from Baltimore managed to talk his way out of an arrest just a few years back. Oh, and their van caught fire during their first tour in 2006. Pretty exciting, equally talented and a little bit weird, the guys of Ballyhoo! not only know how to party, they also know how to jam.

“We love it. [There’s] lots of different types of music in Baltimore. We’ve been doing it a long time and it’s great to see people coming to the shows and supporting it,” says lead singer and guitarist Howi Spangler, in response to how such a uniquely-crafted band fits into Baltimore’s music scene.

The group was hard at work this summer, performing at the Vans Warped Tour alongside fellow reggae rockers, Tribal Seeds. “[That was a] great experience. Very hot and a lot of work. We were out there every day putting up posters and walking around with signs trying to bring kids to watch our set. It was a new crowd for us and a lot of people were into it. We sold a lot of CDs this summer,” says Spangler.

And while the guys are still hard at work, having recently kicked off their November tour, they still had some time to well, be boys with Tribal Seeds. “It was a lot of fun [and] cool to meet those guys. Really chill and [they] always offered us beers and weed. [laughter]. Again, we were playing for some new people and that’s always exciting and scary. You never really know how you’ll be received,” said Spangler.

Ballyhoo! has a punk edge that’s mellowed out by their funky, beachy vibes, playfully teetering from sweet to sour. If you dig a punk rock beat and a fun, lively melody, check these guys out.

photo by Chris Martin

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