Their 20 year career has taken We’re About 9 from fire-code-breaking shows at a Baltimore-area coffee shop, to a national reputation for brainy and emotionally-connected songwriting, captivating vocal harmonies, and impromptu fun at shows. You may know WA9 from their main stage performances at over a dozen festivals (Falcon Ridge, Kerrville, Four Corners, Philadelphia), from their two NERFA formal showcases (2002, 2011), or from Folk DJ favorites like Nobody Flying and Albany.
In January 2014, We’re About 9 released Future Pilot, a 182-backer crowd funded album—their first album of new songs since 2008. Future Pilot weaves stories of entire lifespans with WA9’s most ambitious lyrics, lush production, and biggest vocal harmonies to date.
"Well beyond the ordinary...Soaring Harmonies."
-The Washington Post
"On one end of the county we have guns. On the other end,
we have the Jahva House."
- Howard County Sheriff's Department
So begins the story of We're About 9. Brian and Katie's weekly open mic at the Jahva House in Ellicott City, MD captured the attention of the Sheriff's Department not for disorderliness, but rather for regularly breaking fire codes with attendance flooding both floors of the cafe and spilling out into the street. After the open mic ended each week, the music would continue outside in the parking lot. It was in the magical location of Parkling Lot D that Katie Graybeal, Brian Gundersdorf, and Pat Klink first started sculpting their distinctive vocal harmony arrangements.
Emerging in a scene where they would play shows to everything form high school kids to mature folkies, they were inspired to forge both a sound and a songwriting style that would appeal to both. The traditional "family music" vibe wouldn't have worked. We're About 9 knew they needed to be edgy, charming, dissonant and robust. And while they needed to work hard and take the craft seriously, the presentation needed to be all about fun. That was the secret to defying the age gap.
Fast forward two years to 2002, and We're About 9 has just won the emerging artist showcase vote at The Falcon Ridge Folk festival. Within another two years, We're About 9 will have played the main stage at Falcon Ridge Folk Fest, Philadelphia Folk Fest, Clearwater Revival, Bele Chere, Green River Festival, Four Corners Folk Fest, Mountain Stage New Songs Fest, and many more--at the same time touring east coast folk clubs, coffeehouses, house concerts, and college venues.
In 2008 We're About 9 released Paperdust :: Stardust, an album that shows off the duo (Katie and Brian) on some songs, the trio (Brian, Katie and Pat) on others, and is also loaded with special guests. Look for members of Girlyman, Red Molly, Andy and Denise, and Naked Blue on this album.
Amalgam, a collection of 14 previously released songs, plus 2 enhanced recordings, and one brand new song was released on July 24, 2010 at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.
In January 2014, We’re About 9 released Future Pilot, a 182-backer crowd funded album—their first album of new songs since 2008. Future Pilot weaves stories of entire lifespans with WA9’s most ambitious lyrics, lush production, and biggest vocal harmonies to date. Their 14+ year career has taken We’re About 9 from fire-code-breaking shows at a Baltimore-area coffee shop, to a national reputation for brainy and emotionally-connected songwriting, captivating vocal harmonies, and impromptu fun at shows. You may know WA9 from their main stage performances at over a dozen festivals (Falcon Ridge, Kerrville, Four Corners, Philadelphia), from their two NERFA formal showcases (2002, 2011), or from Folk DJ favorites like Nobody Flying and Albany.
"Clear warm voices, comfortable music, and lucid lyrics."
-The Baltimore Sun
“I was blown away by We’re about 9 almost as soon as they’d arrived on stage; both Katie Graybeal and Brian Gundersdorf have great voices for folk music, their songs are incredibly vibrant, and their lyrics are funny and smart. Not to mention the fact that they kept the audience laughing with banter between songs. Why had I never heard of this band before? The first set came and went, I bought an album. I came back for the second set. The folk music became more personal, more low-key, and the appeal remained the same.”
-The Glorious Hum
"WA9 offers up a studio collection that is every bit as good as their live performances. Their lyrics weave haunting, occasionally open-ended tales of reality and life, of love and losses and searches for freedom and peace. With a sound that colorfully blends acoustic guitar backed harmonies with pop, blues, and coffeehouse rock, this trio from Baltimore delivers a positively enthralling performance."
-Robert Lindquist - Singer Magazine
"Musical prowess, careful writing, an engaging stage presence and dynamic vocals that blend or stand alone...like pressing Richard Shindell's next edas through a 20-something cappuccino machine. If Engine is where contemporary folk is going, you'll want to be on board."
-Angela Page - SingOut! Magazine
"Stretches of imagination seldom seen anywhere ... I've just gotten that explosion in my chest that I get when someone new has walked into my life and lit the fuse to another thrill."
-Richard Cuccaro - Acoustic Live! in NY
"I have rarely, if ever, heard any three voices blend together to make such a wholly constant chorus."
"Engine, the new release by the Baltimore-area trio We're About 9, is a thoroughly enjoyable CD that is a stellar refutation of the fallacy that young performers are not making music with the quality or sensibility of the supposedly golden days of 1960 folk. The twenty-something threesome's abilities as songwriters and performers is downright superb. Their material is literate, tasteful and often charmingly wistful, and their musicianship and vocal harmonies are world class."
-George Graham, Program Director - WVIA-FM
“I really can't praise We're About 9 enough. You never need to ask, 'why am I seeing We're About 9.' Their shows are unique. You aren't going to get something similar from anyone else.”
"Profound and fun at the same time!"
-WMPG - FM, Chris Darling
"Catchy songwriting and intense harmonies. They know how to connect with their audience instantly."
-Ryan Simmons - Concerts on Bonnie Branch
"Anyone who has ever seen We're About 9 on stage knows them as fun-loving and energetic. Their charm and on-stage charisma keep their performance engaging, but ultimately these traits are trumped by the wisdom inherent in their writing."
-Audrey Engdahl - The Takoma Voice