The Sweetback Sisters' Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular

The Sweetback Sisters

Each December, Brooklyn's favorite country band tours the east coast
and spreads the holiday cheer with The Sweetback Sisters' Country
Christmas Singalong Spectacular. This supremely fun and wildly popular
show requires audience participation (lyric sheets are provided) and a
love for all kinds of holiday music. All the songs are presented with
the Sweetback Sisters’ signature mix of harmony singing, rollicking
telecaster and twin fiddling along with a healthy dose of holiday

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 1950s and 60s. The band takes their
inspiration from the Davis Sisters and Louvin Brothers as well as the
spirited honky tonk energy of Wanda Jackson and Loretta Lynn. On this
album, The Sweetback Sisters turn to the canon of Christmas and
holiday songs, arranged in a youthful yet nostalgic way.

The Sweetback Sisters started the Country Christmas Singalong in 2009
at the Jalopy Theater in Red Hook Brooklyn. The first year brought an
intimate gathering of family and friends close to the stage with lyric
sheets so all could sing along. The audience was a combination of
20-somethings drinking beer and 60-somethings drinking mulled cider
AND singing so loud they nearly drowned out the old sound system.
Emily Miller was first inspired to host a singalong while
participating in a Christmas charity event in Chicago called “Songs of
Good Cheer”. “The audience knew songs like ‘Have Yourself a Merry
Little Christmas’ and ‘Walkin in a Winter Wonderland’ by heart because
they’ve been singing those songs for most of their lives. I was so
moved hearing the entire audience sing that I knew I wanted to
recreate it with the Sweetback Sisters” says Miller. Rehearsals were
called, lyric sheets were passed out and the first year’s singalong
was a rousing success. It has now been a tradition for four years,
culminating with the release of this record. “People would always ask
us if we were doing the singalong again and if we would come to their
city next year.” The tour now includes Rockland and Portland, Maine;
Brattleboro, Vermont; Pawtucket, Rhode Island; Boston and Northampton,
Massachusetts; and two shows at the Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn, New

This Christmas record was made over two sweltering hot weeks in July
at Philadelphia’s Turtle Studios. “It’s a strange feeling singing
Christmas music in the middle of the summer” says Bode, “but we put up
enough tinsel and Styrofoam snowman to bring in the Christmas cheer.”
The album was produced by the band’s original guitarist Ross Bellenoit
who is a house engineer and producer at Turtle. Aside from the heat
wave, everything about the process was smooth. Bellenoit was
comfortable at the studio and knew what sound the band was going for.
The band was well rehearsed and ready to knock out live takes.

The album begins with “Christmas Boogie” by the Davis Sisters. The
song is a retelling of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with a 1950s
boogie-woogie twist. Although most fans may not know the song, they
will immediately recognize the story and sock hop beat. “Santa Claus
is Coming to Town” is the lead single from the record that opens with
a ripping quote from Bonanza. The blistering vocal duet from the girls
leads to a chanted bridge from the boys in this up-tempo holiday

The band's fiddler, Jesse Milnes writes the only original and a
sure-to-be new Christmas classic with “The Nine Days of Christmas.”
The song is a take-off on the Twelve Days of Christmas, infused with
the classic country themes heartache and drinking. “It’s really more
of a drinking song than a Christmas Song” explains Milnes. It tells
the story of a man left on the first day of Christmas who deals with
the stages of grief, loss and acceptance by cooking up a Christmas
cocktail and opening up packages for two.

The album carries on as a genre bending sleigh ride through time. The
Stanley Brothers’ “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” is a gospel tune that
showcases the band’s four-part bluegrass harmony singing. “Hark the
Harolds Angel’s Sing” is a tribute to Jingle Cats, performed as “meows
in the round” to Casio keyboard accompaniment. “Christmas Island”
features drummer Stefan Amidon’s vocals on a Christmas canoe ride to
the tropics. “Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year” is a
tribute to the queen of the country kiss-off, Loretta Lynn. And the
torch song tradition is alive and well with Zara’s rendition of “Have
Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

The Sweetback Sisters’ Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular is an
instant holiday hit, breathing new life into wintery favorites and
bringing lesser-known songs into the holiday canon. Signature Sounds
is pleased to share this music with the world outside the Northeast.
Every song will help warm your heart and get you in the Christmas
spirit for many years to come.

The Highwater Preachers

The Highwater Preachers (known until now as Slam Hoss) have been raising eyebrows in the burgeoning local bluegrass scene with their fresh takes on classic mountain songs, incorporating precision picking and soulful vocal harmony. Led by the remarkably accomplished Sarah Larsen on fiddle, this troupe of young pickers (featuring members of Sour Mash, the David Wax Museum, and the White Bark Pine) carries the torch of hard-driving traditional bluegrass music.

Brad Hinton & Bethany Brooks

Brad Hinton and Bethany Brooks have been making music for almost a decade now, collaborating with each other and on various projects including the Wissahickon Chicken Shack, the Joe D'Amico Band, and Brooks' Quarry Street Hymnal. They call upon their shared influences of Gillian Welch and Simon and Garfunkle to inspire their performances and create effortless harmonies, relying on a quicksilver ability to anticipate one another.



All shows are 21+ Proper I.D. required for admission

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