Thursday, September 13, 2007


Howdy All.

I've heard from many of you recently how it stinks that you can't post a comment without signing in. I sincerely do apologize, but as the moderator of this blog you would not believe the amount of SPAM we receive daily if those little guards aren't put up. We love hearing from you so please follow through! Just don't offer The Sweetback Sisters: pills, webcams, Cameron Diaz, or to invest in your multi-million dollar Nigerian animal shelter. We would however love a "Hello!" or to hear about that amazing song you heard on the juke-box last night.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Sweet Blogger’s Review

Howdy All!

Hope everyone had a wonderful summer, and fall is lookin' good as well. The Sweetback gang are settling back into their respective swinging of things. Stefan and I are back in Ohio, as Stefan attends his last semester at Oberlin Conservatory, Ross is starting full-time as a music teacher in Philadelphia, Jesse is back with Bob Smakula fixin' up WV's stringed instruments, Joe is out and about as always with The Wiyos, and Emily is in Nashville of all places starting up grad school at Vanderbuilt. Quite an exciting time for all.

Dont worry we haven't given up on performances, we are looking into a few weekend gigs during the next few months just to keep the Sweetback ball rollin', and rumor has it we'll also be recording an album sometime in the next few months. Just need to work out logistics, and find a producer. Keep your fingers crossed.

If yer hankerin' for some honky-tonk to hold you over check out our myspace page for a few new live tracks from our last tour! SWEETSPACE/MYSPACE

Oh and once your done with that check this sweet review:  SWEET

Keep in touch, and so will we!


Friday, August 24, 2007

One Red Paperclip

After a long drive back to the city from Thomas, WV with Stefan, Joe, and Ross. I have a few drinks in the 'Slope, a long sleep, and an incredible brunch at Tom's dinner I finally felt settled back in Brooklyn. I took it easy today to say the least and wandered the internet.I came across the stories of ONE RED PAPERCLIP, the incredible bartering adventures of one Kyle MacDonald and how he traded one red paperclip for a house. Pretty amazing.

So, I thought hhhh2.jpg "Hey, The Sweetback Sisters could really use a van..." Don't get me wrong our Subaru & Marquis team is a force to be reckoned with, but really, it's getting more and more expensive to travel with two cars, and we're always separated during our long drives.

So I was thinkin' I might try our own little Sweetback Swap. What do you say anyone who can acquire us a van, will receive all 6 Sweetbacks to perform a private concert for your event. Date will have to be flexible to arrange for all players (feel free to pick your favorite bassist), and we'll arrange some of your favorite country requests!

Our Preferences:

  • Vehicle in working condition.

  • The quirkier lookin' the better

  • Diesel (so we can do a vegetable oil conversion!)

  • Big enough to fix 6 people, their luggage, instruments, and the creme-de-la-creme an upright bass.

Maybe we can think of some things to sweeten the deal, I'm sure my pops would be happy to offer some visual or Tattoo Art to the recipient! Feel free to make offers, and I'll keep you posted.

Happy Trails!


Monday, August 20, 2007


country radio

Hooo-Eeee! Sorry for the late-notice but tonight’s Sweetback Sisters' Johnson City, TN show will be broadcasted LIVE at 9PM TONIGHT EST!

Click the link, and press the LISTEN NOW tab.



The Sweetback & The Male Model

Gimmie Pink...
Alright, gimmie squishy...
Oohhh very nice, now Zoolander...
Spectacular, now ROCK!

That's a wrap boys.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Sweet Sunny South

8:30 am, Thursday: Jesse, Joe and I left our friend Jill's (of the Grit Pixies) West Asheville (NC) house to drive Joe to the Johnson City (TN) airport. The car thermometer read 85 eight in the morning! Suffice it to say that it didn't get any cooler that afternoon. Whew! I think we'll plan the next summer tour for Canada or Alaska (or somewhere else with snow-capped mountains year-round).

We've been having a great time in North Carolina despite the heat, though. The highlight so far was our show in Winston-Salem on Friday night. It was sponsored by the Fiddle and Bow Society (really nice folks...they run folk music concerts and other events year-round) and held at a neat performance /tai chi / workshop studio place called Blessings:


Every surface of the room was painted with interesting murals and there were beautiful plants and antique furniture in every corner. The ceiling was painted dark blue and there were Christmas lights strung up so it felt like playing underneath the stars. To top it all off, the audience was made up of serious early country music lovers who clapped loudly when we sang songs from Hank Williams, Ray Price and Roger Miller. Just my kind of folks.


The other exciting part about the show was that we played with yet another bass player (I think that makes 5 in total). As I mentioned, we had to put Joebass on a plane back to New York for some weekend gigs with the WIYOS so we were searching around desperately for a replacement. After calling just about everyone we knew in western North Carolina, we connected with a fine fellow named Calvin Johnson. He plays in his own honky-tonk band, the Mystery Hillbillies, and was just the best sport about learning an entire concert repertoire in one afternoon. And how! He really nailed it. Thanks, Calvin!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Virginia Flats

There comes a time with every touring band when things go wrong, not terribly wrong, just a little, like wrong turn wrong, like going an hour out of the way wrong, and then the ever popular flat tire wrong.


Luckily a few of our Salty Dogs had it covered, and we made it to Charlottesville, VA's Gravity Lounge without a hitch, though just a tad on the late side.



... Note how Jesse eventually loses interest in the project, and starts playing with the air hose....


good work y'all.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Easy as 1, 2, 3

So we would like to send an apology out to anyone and everyone that may have been looking for The Sweetback Sisters as 1, 2, 3 Pleasant Street last night in Morgantown, WV.  After many many emails and communications and confirmations, we drove up to find it closed. Turns out they were never open on Sundays! Hey, I didn't pick the date...

So we went out for a coffee a few blocks away at The Blue Moose Cafe, and bumped into our co-biller Rachel Eddy and we broke the news. The wheels started turning and we say that The Blue Moose Cafe was a perfect spot for us. So with a bat of the eyes, Greg the owner of the Blue Moose, set-up a curtain and sound system. The night was lovely with a small but attentive audience, and if anything it was some time to rehearse!

Next time Morgantown, we'll get it right, but hey not too shabby for short notice. Thank ya WV, we'll see you soon.


click the link for a link to lovely cafe:


Blue Moose

Friday, August 10, 2007

Honky-Tonk Heaven

I'm sitting in a concrete-block dorm room at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, WV listening to Tim O'Brien, Mary Flower, Robin Kessinger and Johnny Bellar tear it UP on the porch outside. I must lead some sort of charmed life-- how am I surrounded by such beautiful music all the time?

Three sixths of the Sweetback Sisters have been here in Elkins this whole week working at the Augusta Heritage Center. Jesse's teaching an intermediate/advanced fiddle class (and playing for dances, leading jam sessions, wowing people with his finger-picking guitar); Joe's teaching people bass moves in the morning and then backing everyone else up for the rest of the day; my mom and I are teaching a class in country duet singing, one in honky-tonk singing and then various workshops (including an hour on yodeling Wednesday) in the afternoons. And that's only a tiny fraction of all the things that are going on here this week. Whoo! It's a slice of heaven...

I put together an afternoon honky-tonk open mic for my students on Thursday afternoon, which ended up being the highlight of the whole week for me. I wanted the students to have a chance to sing their hearts out with the support of a kickin' backup band. Jesse and Joebass agreed to be the foundation of that kickin' band (they're such good sports!) and I got our good friend Joe Newberry to sit in on guitar. Then, through some act of fate, I heard this great dobro player sitting on the porch playing tunes. I asked him to come and play a few with us. This great player turned out to be National Dobro Champion Johnny Bellar. Needless to say, he blew us all away. The whole afternoon was a little piece of honky-tonk heaven. Success!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Official Tour Announcement

Those lovely ladies are at it again, hitting the road with the good boys. We're stopping at a few new spots this time around, so do spread the word as we could use your support. I'm really looking forward to our first stop at The August Heritage Festival (where our own Joe Bass as well as Emily with her mama Val will be teaching at Old Songs Week.)

We still have a few spots left on our calendar August 16 & 19 so if you have any leads feelf ree to send them our way, or we would gladly play your party or event. Just drop a line at

In the meantime check out our snazzy list:



Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Check’s in the Mail

Booking for the August Sweetback tour is in full swing, and as I was trying to fill in some missing dates and burning up the phone lines (please please let us play at your club, we'll be really good I promise) I decided to try to wrap up some unfinished business, specifically tracking down and sending a royalty check to J. D. Hutchison who wrote "Silver Tongue and Gold Plated Lies."

JD hutchinson

I first heard the song when Ginny Hawker recorded it on her album "Letters from my Father," but until we recorded it I didn't realize that the writer was the same John D. Hutchison that my former bandmate Tom White (who also happens to be Amanda Kowalski's uncle) told me stories about. Tom went on tour with the Hutchison Brothers once or twice back in the seventies and, let's just say he's still talking about it.

Anyway, when we went to pay out royalties for the the songs we recorded it was mostly a matter of going to a website for a publishing agency, filling out a form and making a credit card payment. J.D. Hutchison and his songs never turned up in any of these sites though, and after a while we nearly gave up on finding him. Finally it dawned on me that we were looking in the wrong place. One email to Tim Peacock, Athens, OH music promoter extrodinaire produced a phone number where I could call the man himself, which I did yesterday and immediately got a message back that he was "tickled to death" that we had recorded his song and an address where we could send him some royalties.

So hats off to a local legend who does it the old-fashioned way. And, yeah J.D. the check's in the mail.

- Jesse

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but our 6/19 Rodeo Bar show in New York has been canceled due to renovation restrictions! We will hopefully be rescheduling for later in the summer. We'll keep you posted!

Catch us this weekend at two spots in Charleston, West Virginia!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sweetback Boys

As much as you love the Sweetback Sisters themselves we wouldn't have 1/2 the sound without those bodacious boys backing us up. So we're having a name drive. Please look over the list, vote, and/or add your own suggestions.
The Sweetback Sisters & their...



  3. SOUR(patch) BOYS
















Tuesday, May 22, 2007

You’re Cordially Invited…



Monday, April 30, 2007

Glory Be To Technology!

Hey Sweetbackers,

Just thought I'd let you know of our little technological advances here at the weblog. I've added a few youtube videos to our Prairie post, check 'em out and forward to your friends! Also, if you happened to miss our show on Prairie Home Companion last week, or just can't get enough of that live Sweetback action you can listen to the whole darn thing front to back: RIGHT HERE!

Here's to the future!

An x & o from the gals that know,

The Sweetback Sisters

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Prairie Home Sweet Home

Live on APHC

Thanks so much to everyone who tuned in to hear us on A Prairie Home Companion last Saturday. We loved every minute of our weekend in St.Paul, especially the minutes that involved soaking in the elegance of the St. Paul Hotel and singing in the Fitzgerald Theater!

Never has our band been as well taken care of as we were this weekend. We flew in from our separate corners of the world on Friday morning and were whisked from the airport to the hotel in vans with squishy seats and pleasant drivers. Then we had a couple of hours to bounce on the comfy king-sized beds, try out the bath products and take an afternoon constitutional around the neighborhood before we were whisked away in another set of squishy vans to the Fitzgerald.

The Fitz

I've been listening to the show since I was a child (I grew up thinking that Powdermilk Biscuits really did come in a big, blue box), and I don't think I ever quite realized the magnitude of it. We learned that day that APHC has a listenership (is that a word?) of 4.5 million. Whoa! Not exactly an intimate, from-my-living-room- to-yours kind of deal. And beyond that, the Fitzgerald is an imposing, 1100-seat auditorium with plush red seats and dressing rooms and a box office. You can buy tickets on TicketMaster-- doesn't that spell big time?

So we showed up at this, the biggest venue we'd ever been allowed into, and were immediately welcomed by members of APHC's exceedingly friendly and helpful staff. Sam Hudson, the sound wizard, came out from behind his soundboard (bigger than many kitchens in Manhattan) and made it clear that he could and would make us sound good so long as we showed up at our soundcheck and didn't insult the Minnesota Gophers. Thanks, Sam!

Pretty soon Garrison arrived (that's Garrion Keillor, everybody!) and collected us all in the front few rows of auditorium seats to give us the showdown lowdown. We were each going to get 7 minutes to show the audience how wonderful we were, through our witty repartee with him, GK, as well as our music. Plus, he revealed that he had written a Guy Noir script the night before that featured all six bands acting and singing a yet-to-be-learned theme song in our own distinctive styles. He finished by explaining that he wanted us all to compete. This was not a collaboration, it was a competition! So we all put on our best snarls and ran off to get ready for soundcheck.

The remaining 5 hours before the Friday night, non-broadcast show were sort of a blur: last minute rehearsing in the dressing rooms; making crucial costume decisions; gorging on gourmet catered food; muttering Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin over and over again. Zara, Amanda, Daisy May and I were the only girls in the show, so we got to spend a fair amount of time bonding in the ladies' dressing room. May was just as sweet, talented and adorable as we had deduced from our pre-show reconnaissance (you know, MySpace searching). It proved impossible to keep up our competitive snarls around each other and we slipped into scheming about how fun it would be to tour together. Sorry, Garrison...

Honestly, the show itself was a blur, too. It was a thrill to sit backstage, listen to all the other acts play and watch the APHC cogs turn perfectly in synch. Then, somehow, we were onstage, chatting with Garrison and singing for a sold-out crowd who clapped with abandon and kindly laughed at our not-quite-funny jokes. By the end of the night, I think all the acts were feeling a bit better about the big show the next day...

We started Saturday off right with breakfast at Mickey's Dining Car. You may remember it from such movies as The Mighty Ducks (I, II & II) and Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion. As we were waiting at the counter for our orders we saw the fry cook making omelettes. I swear he put two entire sticks of butter in the pan before those eggs went in. Nobody likes a dry omelette, right? I recommend their homemade baked beans.


When we got to the theater, we all got to soundcheck again. They timed all of our appearances down to the last "Thank you very much" so they could make sure everything would fit in the 1 hour, 59 minute on-air time slot that evening. GK gave us yet another rewrite of the Guy Noir script (with more mentions of Piscacadawada- quoddymoggin Parkway, to be sure). Zara, Daisy May and I played with curling irons and hairspray and fussed over what outfits to wear.

Then the time came, as it always does, to put that last bobby pin in good and snug and get up to the stage. You can hear everything that happened onstage between 5pm and 6:59 here. You can be sure that there was a lot of hooting, hollering and hand-wringing going on backstage. If you listen to the archived show you'll hear that The Powder Kegs from Burlington, Vermont won first place. Congratulations, boys! (Even if you did only beat us by the skin of your teeth...0.1% of the vote!) We were second and our new friends Daisy May Erlewine and Seth Bernard took third.

Sweeeeet Smiles of Victory
With the stress and drama of cutthroat competition behind us, we all retired to the St.Paul hotel for a reception replete with decadent desserts, chilled wine and photo opportunities. Just about everyone from the Prairie Home staff made it over. We got Zara to do her crying baby impression for Tom Keith (the sound effects guy). He seemed pretty impressed but added, "I don't do babies or belches." Garrison convinced Zara and I to sing "The Sweetest Gift a Mother's Smile" with him as a trio. Then he and Zara rocked out on "Kansas City Star" (my fiddle solo on the latter shall be stricken from the record-- I already had two glasses of wine in me). Here's Zara & Garrison whooping it up on youtube.

Emily & Jesse fiddlin' down with The Powderkegs:

And just like that, the whirlwind weekend came to an end. We are honored to have had the chance to play on the show and thrilled to have worked with such top-notch performers and staff. Thanks again to everyone who listened in! Let's do it again sometime...

Keep on honky-tonkin!

Emily (and the rest of the Sweetback Sisters)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

March tour…post factum

Hey y'all,

Thanks for checking in on the Sweetback machine. We've had a busy, busy month full of dress shopping, driving, tie shopping, singing, more driving, blog creating (yippee!), and a healthy dose of worrying about a certain radio appearance (more on that later!).

I want to fill you in on some of our adventures on the first annual Sweetback March Madness Tour, which drew to a close in Burlington, VT not 2 weeks ago (We miss you, SMMT!). We kicked off the tour with a Herculean feat of van-packing: 2 fiddles, 1 telecaster, 1 lap steel, 1 'coustic, 1 baritone ukulele, 1 upright bass, 5 suitcases, 1 guitar amp, 1 garment bag with the all-important matching dresses, 2 pairs of cowboy boots, 4 cups of strong coffee and 5 scruffy musicians in 1 Toyota Sienna minivan. Whew! It should be noted that after we had driven the eight hours to Oberlin, Ohio from New York City with Ross pinned between the body of the bass and the back seat ("No. It's not that we won't...we just CAN'T let you out to pee, Thunder!") Zara said, "We TOTALLY could have fit more stuff in there!" Ever the optimist, our Zara.

Our sojourn in Oberlin was full of good things: meatballs, thrift stores, $4 cocktails (Goodbye, NYC! Hello, Midwestern College Town!), and a rockin' tour kickoff concert at Oberlin's Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse. We loved the Cat’s gigantic and delicious cookies (even the vegan ones… they’re magicians, I tell you!). We hadn't really played together in a few months, but once through Leather Britches was all it took to jog our collective memory and the show was a blast.

We bad Oberlin a fond farewell on Thursday morning. Luckily, we had picked up Stefan AND his Grand Marquis in Oberlin, so the drive out of town was infinitely more spacious than the drive in. The next stop was Cincinnati, where our dear friends the Tarbells had arranged not one, but TWO concerts for us. The first was at Arnold’s, one of the Queen City’s oldest watering holes. The stage was built to look like the porch of an old western saloon—very classy! And we got free draughts of locally brewed beer to loosen up our fingers and vocal chords. Queen City Show #2 was at Kaldi’s Coffeehouse in the Over-the-Rhine district. Highlights for me were getting to debut my favorite George Jones song, Tennessee Whiskey, and drinking shots of the same with Zara before our best ever rendition of I’ve Forgotten More.

The thing that struck me most about Cincinnati was its elegant architecture. Beautiful facades with intricately carved windowsills and colorful trim on buildings that seem impossibly narrow and tall. The old Ohio-River-trading-town grandeur shines through even with the Kroger corporate headquarters looming large in the center of town. We were thrilled to stay in a one such elegant Cincinnati house with the most elegant of Cincinnati families, the Tarbells. I don’t know if I can ever settle for less than 14-foot ceilings again.

The “Double A” highway led us eastward to Elkins, WV. The second half of that drive was particularly nice, after we had hit up a Flying J rest stop (somewhere in Kentucky) and loaded up on Ale-8-1 and Girl Scout Cookies. Luckily for me, the rest of the band is hooked on Samoas while I prefer the simple grace of Thin Mints—let them have their silly coconut!

Elkins is pretty much the cultural and political hub of central West Virginia. It houses a federal courthouse, Davis & Elkins College (which, in turn, houses the Augusta Heritage Center) and, most importantly for these chronicles, the best (only?) Venezuelan restaurant in West Virginia. Not only does El Gran Sabor have great food (try their beef cachapa or their pork empanada if you’re ever in town), but it hosts live music every Wednesday and Friday night. That night we were competing with the West Virginia Symphony (playing at the College) and a seven-piece Slovenian-style polka band called the Grkman Family (playing at the Arts Center) and still drew a great crowd. All that in a town of 7,000!

[Cue drum roll for the entrance of our hero, Caleb Stine] While we were in Elkins, I got an email from Caleb saying that our Baltimore venue, Dangerously Delicious Pies, had received a noise complaint and couldn’t have the show. “Disaster!” cried I. But as I continued to read, I saw that Caleb had ALREADY found us another venue. [You may be asking yourself, “Can this guy be for real?” Yes! He is. And you can listen to his music at]. So we recalibrated our foolproof GPS system (that’s me and my 2005 Wal-Mart Road Atlas) and headed off for The Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

It was the first beautiful Sunday of the year and the Inner Harbor was chock-o-block full of tourists. We really had no choice but to pull out our instruments and busk for an hour. We were half-heartedly chewed out by the owners of a couple of stores, but they came out to listen for a while in the end. I like to think we won them over with our feminine charms and siren-like voices. Jesse played by himself down the street and made almost as much money as the rest of us combined. The show at The Waterfront Hotel was quite fun. The headlining acts for the night were two local singer-songwriters, Andy Grimm and Ellen Cherry. We played a short but mighty set at the end of the night, wrapping up with two encores. The proverbial cherry on top of the whole night was that the owner of Dangerously Delicious Pies was so chagrined that our show had been cancelled that he brought us a big lemony reconciliation pie. We forgive anyone who showers us with sweets. And we love Caleb Stine. ‘Nuf said.

From there, we drove a few short hours “home” to New York. The next night, we played our first (?!?) full-band show in Manhattan (at the Baggot Inn). We’ve played many times in Brooklyn; Zara and I have done duet shows in Manhattan; but we had never before played a 6-piece show on that island. And what a show it was! Ben Sigelman and Jesse did their ever-wonderful cello/fiddle/guitar/banjo duo act to open. Ben raised the bar even higher this time by inviting two-time international women’s whistling champion Emily Eagen to join him for a couple of numbers. Only Emily can command the attention of a bar full of noisy drunks with controlled airflow through pursed lips. We had a blast during our set, too. Zara, Ethan and I were reunited on You Done Me Wrong.

Somehow, between our Baltimore (Sunday) and NYC shows (Tuesday), Zara and Stefan pulled strings and booked us a Wednesday (!) gig at the beautiful new home of the New England Youth Theater in Brattleboro, Vermont. Luckily we have Peter Amidon, the most well-connected man in Southern Vermont, on our side. He sent emails out to most of the population of Windham County, who then forwarded that information on to the rest. And the NEYT folks were just as nice and accommodating. They put our name out on their marquis. They enlisted students to serve coffee and brownies during intermission. They gave us use of their huge green room (check out the slideshow on our MySpace page for pictures!). So we held our breath, crossed our fingers and hoped that some people would show up! And show up they did. We had a wonderful crowd who laughed at all our jokes and danced cheek-to-cheek and clapped loudly. I love Brattleboro!

The final stop on the Sweetback Sisters March Madness Tour was Club Metronome in Burlington, Vermont. Our slap-a-licious bass player Joseph Dejarnette spends most of the year playing with The WIYOS, a vaudevillian ragtime un-jug band. You should definitely go hear them if they come to your town. They put on a jaw-dropping, thigh-slapping good show. Anyway, they were booked at Club Metronome and I finagled us an opening set. Also on the bill for the evening were the Powder Kegs and May Fly. We spent the pre-show afternoon like most good Burlington tourists—drinking coffee, scouring vintage clothing stores, wandering up and down Church Street. Zara and I found beautiful 1940s style dresses complete with little hip flaps and matching shrugs. And exorbitant price tags. Mm mmm. I’m still mourning the loss of those dresses.

The 4-act show started at 9:30pm. Club Metronome is neither for the weak of spirit nor the early risers. I guess college towns don’t attract people in either of those categories. Anyway, our friends Katie Trautz and Julia Wayne of May Fly kicked off the night with some great fiddle tunes and old-time songs. Then we took the stage for a set of the Sweetback Sisters greatest hits. The club was long on floor space and short on chairs, so people kind of stood in front of the stage and, after a while, the standing naturally morphed into dancing. We’ll have to remember that trick for later—don’t let the audience sit down! The WIYOS stole the show with their washboard antics and songs full of thinly veiled allusions to sex and hard living. And the Powder Kegs finished off the evening with an eclectic mix of music (didn’t I hear a Rolling Stones song in there?) that had the whole place gyrating.

And with that, the Sweetback Sisters and Brothers went their separate ways. Thanks for keeping updated on our antics. You can check in on our Calendar page to see if we’re coming to your town. If nothing’s on the books yet, let us know of someplace we could play near you!

Keep on honky-tonkin!

Emily and the gang

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Sweetback Sisters on A Prairie Home Companion!

Well the last few days have been a blur to say the least, and I'll tell ya why... A truly amazing beam of good fortune has hit upon our band The Sweetback Sisters!!! A month or so ago on a whim Emily and I entered a few of our recordings to a contest entitled "Talented Twenty-Somethings" held by NPR and the Prairie Home Companion gang. We figured it couldn't hurt to start spreading the word, but boy did we never expect to make the cut! Just this afternoon Emmy got the call, and they're flying us out and putting us up for the show/competition two weekends from now (April 20-21) They have yet to tell us what's at stake, but who gives a damn when it's every folkie's dream to be on PHC!

For those of you who do not know of i Home Companion, it's an extremely well known radio program now in it's 33rd year I believe. APHC is a live radio variety show created and hosted by Garrison Keillor. The show is broadcast from the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. Each show features a storytelling monologue from Keillor – a report from his fictitious hometown of Lake Wobegon – and the best in American folk music: country, bluegrass, blues, and gospel, and sometimes, and all sorts of guest performers. This is a totally outrageous surprise, and an incredible opportunity for a band as new to the scene as us.

So here's the glorious catch: we still need your help & participation!!!! As you know in this American Idol generation everything is a competition, so we'll be running against a few other groups for the title (I don't know who yet!,) but we'll most likely need your call-in or online support the day of the radio broadcast April 21st. So please have your ibooks and iphones ready!

Thank you for taking the time to read this announcement, and for all your support. When I have any more information I will surely pass it along to all of you, and of course I'll send out some emails when the BIG day approaches!

Fitzgerald Theater

So so so much love,

Them Sweet Sweet Sistas


WHAT: A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor presents this season's talent contest—for performers in their 20s

WHEN: Live Dress Rehearsal: Friday April 20,2007
Contest/Broadcast:Saturday, April 21, 2007

WHERE: The Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange Street, Saint Paul, MN 55101. 651.290.1221

TICKETS/FOR MORE INFORMATION: Go to for details, or contact David O'Neill at or Ticketmaster

**** And of course feel free to forward any info about The Sweetback Sisters to those that might be interested! *****

Hello world!

YeeHaw! Welcome To The Official Sweetback Sister WEBPAGE! We here at the SBS Headquarters have decided to go blog style, still offering you all the many wonderful things a webpage can, but with the hope of keeping people interested, updated, and honky-tonkin' tasty fresh!

So kick off your boots and stay awhile!

Vegas Cowgirl

Love & Country Music,

The Sweetback Sisters

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Madison County, Virginia.

Yesterday was complete madness-- wonderful, but exhausting. It was dark when we woke up for breakfast, and we drove the 45 minutes from Joe's parents' house into Charlottesville during sunrise. Several cups of coffee later we arrived at the WNRN studio to meet Anne Williams.  Somehow we actually fit all 6 of us, complete with bass and Stefan on the snare, into a tiny booth to play some tunes and anwer Anne's interview questions semi-intelligently. It was there decided that Emmy brings the "roots", while I brings the "kitsch" to The Sweetback Sisters, creating a perfect combination... too true!

After the radio show, we wandered the beautiful downtown area of Charlottesville and scoped out the Gravity Lounge where we would be playing later that night. Our tourist buzz didn't last long. Lack of sleep soon caught up with us, and we drove back to Joe's and went to bed.

Though we were all a bit dazed and hungry, the show at the Gravity Lounge was a total hoot. The audience consisted mostly of friends of the band members' parents-- the best kind of audience! We all kind of looked at each other at the break and said, "Hey, this is really coming together!" It's so nice to finally be able to play with each other for several nights consecutively, as opposed to the previous here-and-there gigs, and watch the group grow as a family (and honky-tonkin' machine!)

A nice bit of icing on the cake was this promo pic we threw together this morning before packing the cars to head to Philly. A bit matronly, but not a bad looking bunch ;)

Keep it country!

Zara and the Sweetbacks

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hometowns make us happy

Current mood: tired

I just sat on my guest bed at Joe's family's lovely Madison County, Virginia home. It was incredibly soft, with fresh linens, and country quilts, perfect to sleep on for hours and hours. But there was a cold, stark reality, this bed was in fact just a terrible tease and travesty, for in a little less than 5 hours we're all going to get up and drive into Charlottesville. A few days ago, in a stroke of bravery and restedness, we agreed to do a 9am radio appearance on WNRN (Anne William's morning show) knowing full well that we would be driving in from Baltimore the night before and probably wouldn't sleep at all. Eeek! Reality sinks in.... Ah well, atleast we're all keeping busy!

We just had a show in Baltimore this evening at a great little place called Current Gallery in the middle of B-more's financial district. Due to no planning on our part (Thanks, Carly!), the evening ended up being an elegant history of country music! The first act was a small group of Shape Note Singers, performing the polyphonic early American church music that was so influential for early country singers like the Louvin Brothers ; the second was Caleb Stine, who sang an array of early folk amd blues tunes, including some Guthrie & Carter Family material; and third was us, with honky tonk and beyond. A nice history lesson for all.

Alright I should go. My goal is to get at least 4.2 hours of sleep.


Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The House of Ice

Current mood: chipper

Hey y'all.

We had our first show of the tour last night! And with only a few minor complications... We got a call 24 hours before the show informing us that we couldn't play as scheduled at Elkins' premier Venezuelan restaurant (long story...) so Emily and Jesse scrambled around calling every joint in town and landed a gig at a bar called the Ice House, which was actually used as such back in the day. What is an ice house, you ask? Read on...

"Ice House (Circa 1890s)
A cyclindrical stone structure, originally built by Stephen B. Elkins, the Ice House stored the Elkins family's ice supply when they were in residence at Halliehurst during the summer months. In 1969, the structure was refurbished and has since been used as a coffee house/pub."

The building is a three-level cylinder of stone and concrete, complete with two balconies along the perimeter and spiral staircases. You walk in on the top and go down into the depths to get your beer. We played on the middle balcony, and since the building is fully open in the middle people could hear us from all levels. Man, NYC would kill for a bar like this!

We spent the night out at Jesse's parents' cabin (really a house in the woods) out on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest. After some whiskey and generous helpings of Jesse's two-day old birthday cake, we happily went to bed.

We woke to snow, real life snow! How strange to actually be excited for snow in the heart of winter. Global warming will do that to you.

Alright well, off to Baltimore!