JULY 2012 WAMI FEATURED ARTIST – THE WHISKEYBELLES
Introducing the WhiskeyBelles
Debut album, “Whiskey Woman,” Due out July 29, 2012
“Excellent harmonies and outstanding camaraderie and charisma…” – Scene 262
“I mentioned their perfect harmonies. I mean they were perfect.” – The Sixth Station
“Upbeat and experienced melding of country, folk and Americana…” – Milwaukee Magazine
All-female traditional country and Americana trio The WhiskeyBelles release their debut album, “Whiskey Woman,” on July 29 featuring driving original material, pitch-perfect three-part harmonies and their own hot fiddle, guitar and bass playing.
Their first release follows three years of incessant gigging in front of enthusiastic audiences and kicks off a full schedule of gigs this summer including coveted opening slots for country stars Montgomery Gentry and Kentucky Headhunters.
The Belles are widely known for captivating shows featuring their own takes on classic and obscure vintage country, Americana, folk revival and roots country tunes, with a few originals sprinkled in. They’ve been compared with the Pistol Annies, Be Good Tanyas, Dixie Chicks and The Trio (Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris & Linda Ronstadt).
Finally ready to record their first album, The Belles decided to focus on originals. While their songs reflect traditional country themes, The Belles tell their own stories with their own imagery and music. Many of the song titles hint at the joy, misfortune and love they sing about, from “Borrowed Trouble” to “The Other Girl” to “Pills I Took.”
Vocalist and acoustic guitarist Chrissy Dzioba said that she and vocalist and bassist Sara Moilanen wrote the six originals separately. Vocalist and fiddler player Kimmy Unger rounds out the group, with her playing prominent in many songs and the three musicians jointly working out arrangements. Six of the eight songs are originals, with the exception of the title track, “Whiskey Woman,” written for The WhiskeyBelles by a friend who is, perhaps surprisingly, a pastor. “Pills I Took” was written by aMadison,WIband, Those Poor Bastards, and made famous by Hank III.
The Belle’s new focus on writing and recording is the next step in their development as a band, Chrissy said. “When you write and bring your originals, it’s really about what’s going on inside, about human relationships and feelings,” she said. “But we also bring fun and energy to our songs. We can sing about troubles but also have a good laugh about the way the world just is.”
Outside of The Belles, the three musicians are in heavy demand as members of a variety of other groups, including folk-rock bands, a Celtic rock group and a symphony orchestra.
For the recording, The Belles were joined by well-known sidemen, including Victor DeLorenzo, co-founder of the Violent Femmes, on drums; multi-instrumentalist recording vet Allen Cote on lap steel; and Paul Bast, contemporary bluegrass musician, on Dobro. “While we usually play out as a trio, we wanted this record to have the benefit of these great musical voices, which really complement the tunes,” she said.
Chrissy said that audiences will be hearing the new original tunes at shows all summer, and that The WhiskeyBelles will be contributing more originals down the line. “The Belles have always had our boots firmly planted in the best country songs ever written,” she said. “We’re now adding originals to this wonderful tradition of song and bringing even more of ourselves to our loyal fans.”
The CD Release Party will be held on Sunday, July 29 2012 at Lo-Cash Live inMilwaukeefrom 1-4pm.
- Whiskey Woman
- Borrowed Trouble
- The Other Girl
- Pills I Took
- Kisses (Honey Do)
- This Ain’t It