One does not usually consider Brooklyn, New York a hotbed of honky tonk and country swing music but that is exactly where the retro renegade Sweetback Sisters hale from. The “sisters” will bring their high-spirited brand of music to town for a performance at the Arcata Playhouse. The show is presented in association with the Humboldt Folklife Society and Playhouse Arts. Sweetback Sisters Emily Miller and Zara Bode may not be blood relations, but their precise, family-style harmonies recall the best of country music from the Everlys to The Judds, as well as the spirited rockabilly energy of Wanda Jackson, one of the band's role models. Like the artists they admire, the Sweetbacks are concerned with the traditional subjects of heartbreak, revenge, remorse and staying strong in the face of relationships gone wrong, albeit with a contemporary sensibility. "We're a renegade retro band that mixes up country, swing and honky tonk," explains Bode. "Sometimes what we deliver is straight out of the 50s; other times it's BR549 meets The B52s." The Sisters have been touring relentlessly since they released Chicken Ain’t Chicken in 2009. Their new CD, Looking For A Fight showcases the band’s razor sharp musicianship, complex arrangements and growing confidence as songwriters. "We tried to recreate the energy we get when we connect with an audience over the course of a song,” Bode says. “The basic tracks were all done live, and we recorded most of the vocals with Emily and I crowded around one microphone. It gave the tracks a certain intimacy.” Like their raucous stage show, Looking For A Fight balances yesterday’s hits with contributions from the band’s four songwriters, Bode, Miller, Bellenoit and fiddler Jesse Milnes. And while the music may be energetic and sassy, sentiments of heartache, loss and longing are dominant. “Those are the themes that make country songs resound with listeners,” Miller says. Brooklyn performer Austin McCutchen will opening the evening with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. and the performance at 8 p.m on Sunday, November 10th. Tickets are $15 general and $13 students and members and are available at Wildberries Marketplace and Wildwood Music or reserve at (707) 822-1575. The Playhouse is located at 1251 9th Street at 9th and L Streets in Arcata.
- $15 / $13 students and HFS members
- Phone: 822-1575
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