News from the Stairwell

The weblog of The Stairwell Sisters – All-Gal Old-Time String Band

Oh How Sweet…

Happy Summer Everyone!

The Bay Area has actually graced us with some hot hot weather, and were getting out in it, heading to the Live Oak Festival down South this weekend. Weve gotten some awesome reviews of the new release (see below), plus tons of airplay all over the country, and in Europe. Its an exciting ride! 

Happy festivating, and we hope to see you out there -

xo, Evie, Lisa, Sue, Martha & Stephanie


We had a some very fun CD Release shows this past month, from as far south as LA to as far north as Vancouver, BC to a very enthusiastic response. A big thanks to the Tallboys who rocked with us in Seattle, and Viper Central who hosted us in Vancouver, and heres to getting down on Nancys Farm! If only the border crossing werent so durn sssllllooowww, wed go to BC all the time! 

At the end of this month we go on Honeymoon Hiatus, and jump back in with both feet mid-July with shows in Berkeley & SF, WY, CO, SD & MN.

Here are some of the reviews that have been coming in:

These women attach a rock-and-roll energy to an acoustic mountain sound…bandanas and whiskey are at home with Chuck Taylors and wine coolers…The seamless instrumentation along with each band members musicianship help this album stand out from others of its genre…stories that coalmen from the 1800s can relate to as well as someone driving home in rush hour. 


It’s hard to say what is more striking: the Sisters clear passion for old-time string band music, or the thoroughly modern exuberance of their performing style. It is, however, the originals that really underscore the band’s distinctiveness. The Stairwell Sisters organically and emphatically connect their democratic music with their democratic values. Together with the implicit empowerment aspect of their being an all-female band, Get Off Your Money adds up to quite a statement.



They create a rustic wall of sound where the backing rhythms are as important as the principal melodic line. This group music approach makes every song they perform, whether it’s an interpretation of a Roscoe Holcomb blues or one of their own original tunes, sound organic and ancestral. Want a tonic for modernity? The Stairwell Sisters have a cure for what ails you.. 


The Stairwell Sisters have a knack for writing old timey songs that sound like they were pulled out of the dirt of a century agostrong and tight, as if they’re playing one big, multi-layered instrument. 


With an able assist from co-producer Lloyd Maines, the Bay Area-based female old-time quintet deliver a smooth, banjo- and fiddle-happy follow-up to 2005′s “Feet All Over the Floor.” Songs like “Who’s to Blame” and the day laborer dedicated “Shuffle and Shine” place their underdog sympathies front and center, but they’re best on the upbeat tunes; the whooping traditional “Stay All Night,” “Swing Low” (a quick-tempoed variation on the spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”) and especially “Sleep When You’re Dead” serve as insistent reminders that old-time is meant to be dance music.


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