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.”
From their first night on, the crowds have gone wild for their close harmonies, charismatic stage presence and the crackling musicianship of their cohorts. But while the Sweetback Sisters formed due to their deep love of classic country music, their individual foundations are quite varied. "Between all our bandmates, we have jazz players, rock-n-rollers, old-time ragers and classically trained musicians," Miller explains. "In the Sisters’ combined histories there’s not a lot of ground we don’t cover.” Bode concludes, “The tension between our various backgrounds gives the music something original and exciting, but in a way it’s also an homage to what country music used to be: a melting pot of rock, jazz, and traditional music.”
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