• Amy Dixon-Kolar, Patti Shaffner, Sue Fink join forces as ‘SongSisters’ on new disc
Three singer/songwriters walk into a bar. No, it’s not a joke; it’s the beginning of a music group, a.k.a. “SongSisters”!
The three women — Amy Dixon-Kolar, Patti Shaffner and Sue Fink — were already friends. Initially invited to perform in-the-round, they found their distinctive songs and styles (folk, jazz and humor) worked very well together, like contrasting spices that somehow blend to make one very tasty stew.
They began adding harmonies and instrumentation to each other’s songs. Soon, they discovered their audiences enjoyed their eclectic offerings as much as they did.
Although each performer has her own CDs, the group began hearing requests for a “SongSisters” recording. So, they invited Bruce Roper (Sons of the Never Wrong) to record two July performances at Davenport’s Piano Bar & Cabaret (Chicago), and to capture their audiences’ enthusiasm in the mix. Back in Roper’s studio, they chose which songs to include, tweaked sound levels and created an album that re-creates atmosphere of their live shows.
The group will release their SongSisters Live! CD at their Friday, Nov. 8 show (7 p.m. start) at JustGoods, 201 Seventh St., Rockford.
“We couldn’t be more excited,” Fink said. “JustGoods is a true listening room, and the audiences really enjoy themselves. Both Amy and I have performed there previously. This will be Patti’s first time, and our first time at JustGoods as SongSisters. And we’ll be able to offer folks our brand-new CD as well!”
Dixon-Kolar added: “JustGoods is such a supportive environment. The store itself has a lovely selection of fair-trade merchandise, it’s fun to browse during the break. The music room has great acoustics. It’s a Friday night series, hosting both local and national performers, and it’s sustainable due to the generous audience donations [rather than a cover charge, donations are requested].”
Included on the SongSisters Live! disc is a .pdf of their lyrics — in legible format and size — with additional pictures from one of the recorded performances.
“We still value the physical album, with its artwork and selected order,” Shaffner said, “so we wanted to offer something extra to those who purchase it. You just put the CD in a computer and open the file, even while you’re listening. You can magnify the text; you can print, or just view on the screen. We think the pictures add to the experience, too.”
SongSisters have also headlined at The Lake County Folk Club (Gurnee, Ill.), Uncommon Ground (Chicago), Cornucopia Café (Valparaiso, Ind.) and more. Nov. 23, they’ll perform at the storied Front Porch Music stage, also in Valparaiso. To learn more about upcoming performances, visit http://songsisters.net.
Find more about JustGoods at http://justgoods.info or by calling (815) 965-8903. Donations are requested and appreciated. CDs will be available for purchase.
From the Nov. 6-12, 2013, issue