top of page

Wild Blue Yonder: A Jam Band with the Jam, Man

(From L to R) Dan Sawyer, Mark Riggio, Eli Alfieri, Joe Hodges
(From L to R) Dan Sawyer, Mark Riggio, Eli Alfieri, Joe Hodges

Straight out of Pittsburgh and taking on a south-bound tour, up-and-coming band Wild Blue Yonder has been wowing our 47Staff. The band released their first album Dancing Astray last year and has been on top of the Pitt music scene ever since, playing shows all around the area with crowds singing along. WBY takes inspiration from Grateful Dead, Phish, Tony Cambell, Robert Glasper, and even Indiana Jones and Spider-man to name a few.

The band comprises Eli Alfieri: Singer, Guitar, and Bass, Dan Sawyer: Singer, Bass, and Guitar, Joe Hodges on the Keys, and Mark Riggio on the drums. Their music is a jazzy, ambitious, pulsating sound that curates a chill summer vibe that everyone of all ages can enjoy. Currently, Wild Blue just finished up on its second leg of a tour, so we wanted to get the rundown with Wild Blue about all things touring, music, summer, and life!

Enjoy the interview to dig deep into one of our favorite new bands you won't want to miss!

[This interview was conducted in person and has been edited for clarity]

Mark: Why a Jam Band?

Eli: It offers the most freedom I’ve ever felt in my entire life.

Dan: You know the feeling while you’re listening to music and the groove is just so good and so nice you just want to ride it forever. Being in a jam band gives you the freedom to not be constrained by time at points.

Joe: It’s an improvisational thing. It’s great to create music at the moment with friends.

Dan: Oh yeah, and also storytelling and developing ideas. It gives you more room to operate and have fun. Another thing is the freedom to not be denuded by one specific genre. There are jam bands with all different genres!

Mark: You guys just wrapped up your second leg of the tour from Morgantown to Atlanta. What were your favorite and least favorite parts of this experience?

Eli: My favorite thing was Dan's cooking. It was a glimpse into the world of balanced nutrition via Dan’s cooking. My least favorite was Load In.

Dan: My favorite thing was just playing long-ass jams. There are a lot of things I love, but it is hard to pick a favorite. My least favorite thing was having the car stuck in the mud.

Mark: My favorite part of this tour was the log cabin we stayed at. My least favorite was Load In.

Joe: My favorite thing was kicking it in the cabin. My least favorite is the rain in general. Having to load in/out in the rain was a real bummer.

M: If you could have your music in any show or movie, what would it be?

Eli: Spongebob.

Dan: *after a long thought* I can see it in a superhero movie. Maybe Avengers: End Game

Joe: King of the Hill. Or The Regular Show.

Mark: School Of Rock.

M: Where is one country or city you wish you could play in?

Eli: Amsterdam.

Dan: Oh yeah, Amsterdam. Or the Pyramids.

Mark: Red Rocks.

Joe: Yes, Red Rocks for sure.

M: What’s the best song on your summer playlist?

Eli: Hunger Site - Goose.

Dan: Sweet Dreams Melinda - Trey Anastasio. It’s a nice windows-down kind of vibe.

Joe: What You See Is What You Get - The Dramatics.

Mark: Hol’ Up - Kendrick Lamar.

M: What color would you describe your music as?

Eli: Green

Dan: Tropical Vibe Orange

Joe: Green

Mark: Blue

From their powerful vocals to lucid grooves, these dudes know their stuff and can truly do it all, and are ready to take on the Jam Band scene.The band is working on some more music coming out soon and is also planning some shows up around the NYC and Philly area, so we hope to see our 47Club there! From West Virginia to Georgia, Wild Blue Yonder aims to hit all fifty states (eventually), so stay updated with @wildblueyonderjams on Instagram to see where they're playing next!

Written by Lily Greenberg and Mark Bluemle

Photography by Mark Bluemle throughout leg two of WBY’s tour

bottom of page