Whiskey Sisters’ Sound Perfect for Summer Fests

whiskey-sisters-band-photo-by-kristy-wallacePhoto by Kristy Wallace

Austin music fans looking for another sensitive singer/songwriter act will need to look somewhere else. The Whiskey Sisters are fierce, with their vivacious attitude and stunning harmonies that are equally effective on the most woebegone love song or the most hard-driving track. Teal Collins and Barbara Nesbitt met at a mutual friend’s gig in Austin and decided to get together to sing a song or two. They ended up writing a bunch of songs, and adding some Austin veteran musicians to turn themselves into a six-piece band. These rock-and-roll bad ass chicks are the love-children of The Runaways and Jo Dee Messina, making you want to sing along with each two-stepping, power ballad.

Their debut, self-titled album released in February has earned them a spot in the line-up for several summer festivals. Each song offers a boot-stomping, southern-rock danceable rhythm. In “Wait a Lifetime” the ladies musicalize their rough but elegant style by warning that life without risk is no life at all. The song is a brutal taunt to those who live in fear and those who hide from risks. They belt, “I can’t wait a lifetime for you to see / if you’re going to live your life in fear / you’re going to do it without me.”

With confidence and strength, the singers model a roll-with-the-punches attitude in “I Take it Back” “I’m Gone” and “Good Girl Down.” Speaking of which – isn’t it so refreshing when a country-rock band pokes at the flames of religion? During “Good Girl Down,” I can’t help but smile at the lyrics “I don’t go to church / I won’t go to hell / don’t ya bring this good girl down.” This is accessible to my young, liberal Austinite mindset and lifestyle and the Sisters seem self-aware enough to know that this might resonate with many young listeners, breaking the mold in modern society (especially in a growing urban city surrounded by Southern religious values).

The Whiskey Sisters love getting their story out there, whether it’s through telling it during shows, making documentary videos, or interviewing around town. They have a delightfully approachable sense of humor and healthy sense of humility (they funded this album through Kickstarter last summer). They fit like puzzle pieces into the Austin music scene – offering something unique, bad-ass and fun musically – while capitalizing on the city’s willingness to support local musicians.

The Whiskey Sisters will be playing at Blues on the Green in Zilker Park this Wednesday, opening for the Wheeler Brothers and they will continue showcasing at The Continental Club every Thursday throughout the summer.

– Bailey Cool