The Springtails are charming Michigan-based husband-and-wife duo, Andy & Julianna Wilson. Mixing new songs with old vaudeville and swing-era standards, her lilting voice and snappy ukulele with his soulful harmonica and retro-sounding horn transport listeners back in time with songs that range from haunting ballads to playful swing. Bob Bryan (percussion) and Michael Smalley (upright bass) complete the four-piece version of the band.
When Julianna Wilson met Andy in 2008, their shared love of music, particularly of jazz and blues standards of the early 20th century, proved to be a winning combination. Inspired by Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot, Julianna bought her first ukulele in 2009 and has been collecting and experimenting with a variety of tunes ever since. In addition to The Springtails, Julianna is the current bass-player for the all-girl band Stella!
Andy Wilson picked up his first harmonica at the age of seven and has since become a multi-genre, multi-instrumentalist, specializing in harmonicas and trumpet, with a side of Cajun accordion and Irish whistles. Andy began his professional career as a co-founder of the roots-music band, Steppin' In It. In addition to The Springtails, Andy performs with his twin brother Joe Wilson in The Wilson Brothers Band.
Bob Bryan spent countless hours as a youngster sitting near the bandstand mesmerized by the various percussionists who played in his dad's ensembles in Boyne City, Michigan. After highschool, he moved to East Lansing with his band, The James In Flames, and he's been performing with various musical acts in the Lansing area and beyond ever since. In addition to the The Springtails, Bobby performs with the quartet version of The Wilson Brothers Band, Zydecrunch, and The Atomic Boogaloo Band.
Michael Smalley is The Springtails current bass player after Louis Rudner left for a life of adventure on the high seas. You'll have to ask him yourself how he got started, but Smalley plays in a variety of Lansing-area bands including Spoonful.
Photos by: Matthew Dae Smith