Work o' the Weavers is a tribute group that replicates the music of the seminal folk group the Weavers. Singer, banjoist, and guitarist David Bernz grew up next door to original Weavers member Lee Hays in upstate New York. He put the tribute band together with singer/guitarist James Durst, who also maintains a successful career as a solo performer (which is consistent with his position as the Pete Seeger figure in Work o' the Weavers); singer/bassist Mark Murphy, and singer Martha Sandefer. The group not only plays songs associated with the Weavers at its concerts, but also tells the earlier band's story of national success with "Goodnight Irene" and other hits, their travails during the Communist witch hunt of the 1950s, and their return to popularity with their 1955 Carnegie Hall reunion show.
As they put it on their website, www.workotheweavers.com, "With faithful adherence to their original arrangements, we seek to recall the spirit of the Weavers, providing an echo of their music and some insight into their story, one that resonates ever so strongly in these troubled times when an American's right -- and indeed, responsibility -- to dissent is once again being challenged. It is therefore a distinct privilege for us, and it is with profound pleasure that we present the timeless music and the timely message of Work o' the Weavers.'"
Work o' the Weavers has performed in the presence of and alongside original Weavers members Seeger and Fred Hellerman, and they have sought the advice of original Weavers member Ronnie Gilbert. The group has performed extensively throughout the Northeast U.S. and in May 2004 released their debut album, a self-titled effort on WorldWind Records that boasted guest appearances by Seeger and Hellerman.