|Twilight Music presents The Sweetback Sisters for two shows of classic country, swing, honky-tonk and old-time music. Emily Miller (vocals, fiddle, guitar), Zara Bode (vocals, guitar), Stefan Amidon (drums, vocals), Jesse Milnes (fiddle, guitar, vocals), Ross "Rolling Thunder" Bellenoit (guitar, vocals) and Peter Bitenc (acoustic bass) forge their own sound by delivering arrangements that combine the soul of classic Nashville with an undeniably contemporary edge.
The rollicking country swing of the Sweetback Sisters is as infectious as it is heartbreaking. Their charismatic charm harkens back to the golden era of both the silver screen cowgirl and the ersatz cowboy stars of local UHF TV kiddie shows. That whimsical exterior is wrapped around a core of deeply felt love for traditional country music styles and a palpable joy in playing and singing together. Zara Bode and Emily Miller’s harmonies have the power to make a new song seem as timeless as any classic country lament. Conversely, the wit and swagger of the band can take a tried-and-true
standard to some interesting new places. Their repertoire combines several of the Sisters’ passion – country music from before they were born and new interpretations of those traditions – to create a fresh take on what it means to be country
Zara Bode and Emily Miller started singing together in the Montpelier, VT-based choir Northern Harmony. While performing an eclectic repertoire of shape-note hymns and eastern European harmonies, the two discovered a mutual love of good old American country music. They moved to Brooklyn, NY, reeled in an all-star cast of back-up musicians, and started playing in venues up and down the eastern United States. Their repertoire includes 1940s and 50s-era country music, complete with close harmony singing and solid old-time country picking. Although the band was born in Brooklyn, NY, its members hail from all over the eastern United States, as far south as Elkins, WV and as far north as Brattleboro, VT.
The Sweetback Sisters' high-energy stage show reveals the players' deep roots in traditional American music while at the same time betraying their youth. The band's line-up includes some of the rising young talent in today's old-time and traditional country music scenes: Stefan Amidon of Brattleboro's Amidon Family and Assembly; two-time West Virginia state fiddle champion Jesse Milnes; Ross Bellenoit, who recently finished a tour with Amos Lee opening for Bob Dylan; and Peter Bitenc, of Heather & The Barbarians and several other cutting edge bands. The band was chosen as one of six finalists to play on A Prairie Home Companion as part of the program's 2007 People in Their Twenties talent contest.
For more information, visit www.thesweetbacksisters.com and www.twilightmusic.org.