The Welcome Wagon

The Welcome Wagon


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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 Midwest 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. The resulting Welcome to the Welcome Wagon marked the band's full-length debut in December 2008. The follow-up, Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices, also featured contributions from Stevens. It arrived on Asthmatic Kitty in the summer of 2012. Following a successful crowdsourcing campaign, the duo's third long-player, Light Up the Stairs, was distributed by Tooth & Nail Records in 2017. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi