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: