News from the Stairwell

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

August rolls right along


Diving headlong back into festivals, we’re sending this out from a very short breather here at home.  Turning it around and heading out to the Midwest to swim in beautiful lakes, bet on chicken fights and play music for many late nights in a row.  We’re looking forward to joining Southern Routes (Dirk Powell, Christine Balfa, Riley Baugus, Sammy Lind and Caleb Clauder) – at both upcoming festivals.  See below for news of where we’ve been, and more new reviews of Get Off Your Money!


Airplay all over the nation and then some – thanks to the fabulous DJs for spreading the music!

Stephanie was featured in Strings magazine, with a great interview:
And we would be remiss if we did not throw in a lovely photo of us lovelies at Stephanie & Dave’s gorgeous wedding in the Berkeley hills.  Do you recognize us out of our traditional red & black?

July saw us revving back up with a few fun local shows, including a freezing outdoor Berkeley show and a beautiful sunny San Francisco show (isn’t that supposed to be the other way around?).  Then we hit the expansive state of WY, where we found ourselves on our first Billboard, and shopped in the very first JC Penny’s, established in the tiny town of Kemmerer in 1902, and still going!  The crowd was rowdy and dancing, not surprising as they repealed the open container laws for the weekend, but only between the hours of 9am and 2am…hmmm.  We truly enjoyed having the fabulous Lloyd Maines join us for a rousing Hangman – what did he do to get that incredible sound on the dobro!  It was great to reconnect, and hear him & Terri Hendrix play.  We were followed by the amazing L’Angelus – from Louisiana, these siblings were totally off the hook, dancing like deer on speed, while playing and nailing sibling harmonies.  Very cool.

Drove across the state to ROCKYGRASS – our first Planet Bluegrass festival – and for sure the greenest festival we’ve seen – artists got their own stainless water bottles, instead of the endless plastic, and their emphasis on minimal impact was extremely well done.  We rocked our set, jealously eyeing the fans watching from the river, having to wait until after our workshop to DIVE in!  Enjoying the red rock cliffs, the fabulous hospitality and sound, and the great entertainment that followed – chilling out to Peter Rowan, digging the Chocolate Drops, who got everyone to their feet with a fiddle-led Beyonce tune.  Now that’s old-time!


a mesmerizing project chock full of energy, excitement, poignancy and musical surprises.  It’s a boldly original album that looks both forwards and backwards simultaneously using old-time underpinnings to create a killer new sound.

Five multitalented woman with diverse skills and backgrounds who are as famous for their for devotion to icon Hazel Dickens as they are to presenting their musical offerings with an “in your face rock n roll” attitude…The Stairwell Sisters represent the personification of traditional string music con mucho gusto!

High on raw energy the girls throw off the shackles as they race through opener, Kentucky Winder before settling into a deep smart groove on the gritty Hangman Tree… here is string band fare at its best.

The Stairwell Sisters lead off with a foot-stomping, hand-clapping instrumental, “Kentucky Winder,” showcasing the band’s picking and fiddling talents and infectious energy. But the real fun begins when the women add their vocal harmonies to the mix. This collection of originals and old-time folk songs demonstrate the talent of this rompin’ and stompin’ all-girl string band.

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