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Local Musician's Spotlight -Sweetback Sisters

The Sweetback Sisters will be in concert at the Hooker-Dunham Theater at 139 Main Street in Brattleboro on Friday, October 23 at 8 p.m.

The Sweetback Sisters, though they may dress alike and sing harmonies as though they've been doing it all their lives, are not sisters. The Sweetback Sisters are Zara Bode, formerly of Rodeo Queen and Chuck Wagon Cookie on vocals, guitar, uke; Emily Miller, of Shadow Rider, on vocals, guitar, fiddle; a brilliant and talented Jesse Milnes, of Rosin Jaw, on acoustic guitar, baritone guitar, fiddle, and vocals; Ross Bellenoit, of Drag Rider, playing a terrific swing and country twinged Telecaster, baritone guitar, and vocals; drummer and vocalist Stefan Amidon formerly of Big Buckaroo; and finally Bridget Kearney, of The Night Herder, on upright bass.

They play a number of local venues, and many area music lovers were introduced to the band at this past summer's Roots on the River Festival in Rockingham, where the band was a big hit.

They bill themselves as Honky-Tonk for the Modern Day Cowboy and Girl, and they live up to the billing. They are best experienced live and in concert, where their quirky humor, remarkable vocals and instrumental ability, and yes, the whole honky-tonk experience is given full opportunity to express itself.

Signed with northern Massachusetts label Signature Sounds, the Sweetback Sisters have been playing to sold out shows all over the Northeast, and have been on National Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion.

Their debut album, Chicken Ain't Chicken, has been getting a lot of airplay, and has even created a bit of an indie hit with the Roger Miller penned title song.

Several of the band members have jazz training, and they all have a solid background playing folk and traditional music.

"We've definitely taken some modern liberties with the fashion and sounds, but Jesse's foundation in old-time square dance music keeps the band from getting too heady and out of touch," Miller said.

For more information visit www.thesweetbacksisters.com or check their blog The Sweeback Shout On Blogger at www.thesweetbacksisters.blogspot.com.

Tickets for their Brattleboro show are $17 general and$15 for students and seniors. Contact Hooker Dunham at 254-9276 or visit www.hookerdunham.org.

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