The Welcome WagonView in iTunes
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Rev. Thomas Vito Aiuto and his wife, Monique, fashion the Welcome Wagon's hybrid of contemporary folk, gospel, and indie pop. Born and raised in Michigan, Vito experienced a spiritual awakening at the age of 20 and consequently relocated to New Jersey, where he enrolled at the Princeton Theological Seminary. Meanwhile, fellow Michigan native Monique left her hometown after high school, eventually settling in New York to study art. After marrying and relocating to Brooklyn, the two Midwestern expats began singing hymns around the household. A lack of formal training didn't hinder them from writing several original songs, the first of which was featured on an Asthmatic Kitty compilation, To Spirit Back the Mews, in 2001. From there, the Aiutos continued to write their own material, with fellow songwriter Sufjan Stevens lending his help to the cause. Stevens gave the duo's homespun music a decorative boost, attaching horns and strings to the acoustic material, and the resulting Welcome to the Welcome Wagon marked the band's full-length debut in December 2008. ~ Andrew Leahey