13 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On its sophomore album, The Welcome Wagon moves out of the shadow of mentor Sufjan Stevens to assert a more fully realized musical identity. Vito Aiuto (pastor at Brooklyn’s Resurrection Presbyterian Church) and wife Monique fashion an appealing sound out of traditional hymns, vintage country rock, and contemporary folk elements. At times, Precious Remedies… recalls the naïve spirit of such early Jesus Music artists as 2nd Chapter of Acts and Lazarus; tracks like “I’m Not Fine,” “Rice & Beans (But No Beans)," and “God Be with You Til We Meet Again” have a guileless charm, underscored by the Aiutos’ humble but earnest vocals. Within its acoustic-oriented perimeters, The Welcome Wagon takes creative risks that pay off handsomely. The Cure’s “High” is turned into a homespun ode to conjugal love, while an inspired reworking of the David Crowder Band’s “Remedy” takes the popular worship number into old-time folk terrain. The most affecting track is “Would You Come & See Me in New York,” a poignant ballad sung by Vito in honor of his late father.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On its sophomore album, The Welcome Wagon moves out of the shadow of mentor Sufjan Stevens to assert a more fully realized musical identity. Vito Aiuto (pastor at Brooklyn’s Resurrection Presbyterian Church) and wife Monique fashion an appealing sound out of traditional hymns, vintage country rock, and contemporary folk elements. At times, Precious Remedies… recalls the naïve spirit of such early Jesus Music artists as 2nd Chapter of Acts and Lazarus; tracks like “I’m Not Fine,” “Rice & Beans (But No Beans)," and “God Be with You Til We Meet Again” have a guileless charm, underscored by the Aiutos’ humble but earnest vocals. Within its acoustic-oriented perimeters, The Welcome Wagon takes creative risks that pay off handsomely. The Cure’s “High” is turned into a homespun ode to conjugal love, while an inspired reworking of the David Crowder Band’s “Remedy” takes the popular worship number into old-time folk terrain. The most affecting track is “Would You Come & See Me in New York,” a poignant ballad sung by Vito in honor of his late father.

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2:29
7:32
4:00
2:58
3:34
3:53
3:33
4:12
4:01
3:44
5:12
2:48
3:12

About The Welcome Wagon

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

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