Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ebay Fiddle

Fiddle from the intertubes,
I can't believe I purchased you.
Busted neck, ugly cracks,
I think I'd like to throw you back.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Howdy All!

We're all prepping for the big release and slappin' on the business hat. CDs, Posters, Merch, EPK, Press clips, websites, booking, promotional photos... Why didn't anyone tell me being a band is such hard work? It's like Christmas, but with country music.

Where many of our projects are still in the works I'm happy to announce that the brand new Sweetback Sisters site is up & running! took a lot of very long nights, but I done built us a website! Check it out HERE! Oh and do tell me what you think, we want to keep things user friendly.

Let our devoted readers hear it first that there is an unheard sneak release off the new album Chicken Ain't Chicken up on the photos page."It Don't Show on Me" is finally on disc! So sweet. Be sure to have a tissue handy.

I must be off to dream land, but I was just going through my content check list for the website and sadly our quotes page didn't make it, so, I thought I'd humor you all here:

Word on the Street:
(from reputable and disreputable sources alike!):

"It's the Opry era of living legend Kitty Wells' heyday resurrected, thanks to the harmonies of leading ladies Emily Miller and Zara Bode (whose vocal resume includes work with Amos Lee and Northern Harmony), which shine with an almost theatrical precision."
--Jed Ferris, Charlottesville Daily Progress, 1/5/2007

"There's something not quite genuine about you two."
-- Garrison Keillor as Guy Noir
St. Paul, MN

"Can I look at your fingers? I think they're on fire."
-- a fan to Ross in the hotel lobby after the APHC show
St. Paul, MN

"I wanna buy you a STEAK!"
-- drunk soldier to Zara
Johnson City, TN

"Look at her! She's got plenty of it."
-- some guy to another guy (in reference to Emily)
Cincinnati, OH

Sweet dreams cowdudes and ladies!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Song That Never Ends

Posted Without Comment.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sock it to me

There are days I go without singing. No music either. I sometimes go as far as a whole day without talking. It's not a choice, just distracted loneliness and happenstance. But when I'm on stage, or even just in a living room making music with friends... I can't image a second without the sweet sound of music. And that obsession can carry on through my days. Times when I hear a melody on the car radios idling outside my window, or a terribly cheesy song at the laundromat and I still can't help but harmonize, loudly.

There's something so utterly satisfying in snuggling myself between the notes I hear. It's the joy of accompaniment, camaraderie, and only one of the reasons I love Emily Miller so darn much. Harmony is like a big 'ol musical hug.

If you have a 1/2 hour to spare today, here's a BBC radiocast of "R.E.S.P.E.C.T - The Art of Backing Vocals." It was really lovely to listen to, with various tricks of the trade, and a nice shout out to country music. CLICK HERE

I've always wanted to be a professional backup singer. If not for the music, then definitely for the outfits. I hope there's still time for that.


Friday, May 22, 2009


Of all known parcel services,
United is the wretchedest.
Their driver says I don't exist,
and won't deliver packages.

The office, open after two
(not until two? can that be true?)
Is staffed with friendly ladies who
declare my check will not go through.

They won't take cash, won't take credit,
neither check nor gold* nor debit.
Money order is, they say,
the only way that I can pay.

I begged them, but to no avail.
I pleaded, but my pleadings failed,
So, as a witch might wield a curse,
I'll place a pox on them in verse.

May their trucks dissolve in rust,
may their financiers go bust.
May their stock price crash and fall,
and may their creditors come to call.

May insurance frauds and cheats
write red across their balance sheets,
and may fate forestall these ravages
until I've retrieved my packages.

*I didn't actually offer them gold, but I'm pretty sure they don't accept it. On the other hand who knows, I mean money orders? really?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys

Among other notables in this edition of the Bluegrass Boys are Gordon Terry, who still looks like Eric Merrill, and native West Virginian Charlie Cline who is reputed to be the only Bluegrass Boy who played every instrument in the band at some time or other (except of course mandolin.) Playing the banjo here.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Release of the Release

Hey Y'all...

As you may have heard The Sweetback Sisters have a mighty fine CD entitled "Chicken Ain't Chicken" coming just over that June horizon. This thing has been a long time comin' so I think it's best we start getting the word out on the CD Release Party dates don't you agree? This poster is the first view of our upcoming summer shows (click for larger view.) More dates will be added as we acquire them, but this might be it for the summer so please help spread the word!

If you'd like to help us book some shows for our extended tour in September please don't be shy! Send a howdy to us @

Xo Zara

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hey, it's something...

Sure, it's practically a blank slate, but The Sweetback Sisters are on the radar, so I thought I would share! Baby steps right?

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Two Man Gentleman Band

These guys are amazing.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Good News

So, while I'm thinking of it, allow me to mention that I have it on good authority that the new CD went to the printers a day or two ago.

the Osborne Brothers

Some of us are born normal and get weird as we age, some of us are born weird and then mellow. The Osborne Brothers, (and make no mistake, I LOVE the Osborne Brothers) were weird when they started and they stayed weird all the way through. I really couldn't pick which of these two versions of "Ruby" to put on here, so I'll put them both. I think Bobby is aging in reverse, as he looks younger and sings higher in the later video. Meanwhile Sonny, who was six years younger but always looked older, is playing stuff that nobody else could get away with and makes it sound great. Make sure you listen to the end to get the full Osborne experience.

Friday, May 15, 2009

the Hillbilly Gypsies

A great latter-day stringband from Morgantown, WV.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gritty Small Town Realism*

Take me to GoMart, I'm already wasted, and
the bouncer at Beander's wants five bucks at the door.
No way am I paying to go hear a DJ,
we can crank up our radio in front of the store.

Take me to GoMart, we might see those girls there,
the ones we saw Friday, and the weekend before.
The new cashier's hot, but I don't think she likes me,
since I dropped a full bottle of beer on the floor.

I paid for the beer, but she still acted hateful,
I'm guessing that cleanup is one of her chores.
So I'm not going in, I'll just stand by the car and say
"got any weed man? I'm trying to score."


*This title is designed to convey to my more sophisticated readers that this is in no way autobiographical and should be regarded as a sort of literary exercise, a character sketch, perhaps. My less sophisticated readers are free to believe what they want.

Friday, May 8, 2009

More Dancing Fiddlers

This time it's Mac Magaha playing in Porter Wagoner's band.

And what the heck, let's throw in some electric banjo:

Mac Magaha actually sounds best playing slow double-stop type country songs, but he doesn't dance around quite so much when he does that. He spent a number of years playing with Reno and Smiley and added a lot to their sound.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Speaking of dancing fiddlers

Clark Kessinger was a house painter from St. Albans, WV, and one of the greatest fiddlers of his generation.

He made commercial recordings with his brother Luches during the 20s, and was "rediscovered" during the great folk scare of the 1960s. It was during this later period that he recorded his best work (in my opinion.) Here he is with Gene Mead on guitar and Gene Parker (I think!) on banjo.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Freeborn Man

Another day shall not pass without the appearance of Jimmy Martin on the Sweetback Sisters blog.

Jimmy Martin scowls and growls, Vernon Derrick dances like a fool and the band executes a daring manual fade-out ending.


ps. I just noticed that this is the set with the carousel that Merle Haggard was standing on while singing "Mama Tried."

Weekend Excursion

On Friday night we sallied forth
and drove four hours to the north
to Cincinnati where we stayed
with Emily, Nelly and monsieur Dave.

Saturday we embarked again
and ended up at Oberlin.
That night we played and earned some loot
and then went to a photo shoot.

A music barn, just right for jamming
equipped with several B-3 Hammonds.
We played some tunes, and pics were shot
and then we sat and drank fine scotch.

On Sunday, at the crack of noon,
we packed up cars and cleared out rooms.
We said goodbye, and just at dark
arrived back home in Sylvan Park.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hello Oberlin! Are you ready to ROCK!!!


7pm, be there. New dresses.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I miss my wifes cooking (whenever I can)

Homer and Jethro were brilliant musicians with a long list of accomplishments. They toured with Spike Jones, worked as a house band at King records, made Kellogs Corn Flakes commercials and are credited with introducing young Nashville players to a lot of jazz influence. Of course they are mostly remembered for corny comedy songs like this: