Three sisters from Richmond, IL, a small town on the WI border, about an hour an a half north of Chicago and an hour west of Milwaukee anchor the Georgia Rae Family Band. They are not the image that comes to mind when you hear the words "family band" at a bluegrass festival. They don't don a homeschooled traditional sheltered lifestyle, nor does their music.
Watch some performance video:
"Jeraldine" an original at the Pabst Theater, Milwaukee
Here's another original "Insomniac Coyote"
Hear those family harmonies
Georgia Rae Family Band has always unknowingly pushed the envelope of traditional music. Their progressive sound inspired by a mix of Americana, contemporary folk and roots, and a little jazzy swing is all flavored with family vocal harmony and youthful energy. Their original songs are clever and catchy. Fiddle champion Georgia Rae (18), lead singer/uke Kelly Jo, Quin (16) on mandolin and banjo are joined by a solid driving rhythm “punk rockin’ momma” on guitar and Joe Burie on bass. The family has played and traveled together since 2011. Georgia Rae is the 2016 National Twin Fiddle Champion (NOTFA, ID) and a state grand champion 5 times (IL, WI, MN). These girls are coming of age and into their own.
Georgia Rae and her band of sisters have been performing before audiences since they were very young in 2011 as a way to pay for their music lessons. Soon after, they started winning contests. Georgia Rae Family Band was the 2012 WGLR Texaco Country Showdown Winner. They also won the Battle of the Bands at the 2014 and 2015 National Old Time Fiddler’s Contest and Festival in Weiser, Idaho, Lindenfest Battle of the Bands in 2013 and the 2015 Burlington Chocolate Fest Battle of the Bands as well as their People's Choice Award. They were named Artist of the Year by WHIW 101.3 FM radio in Harvard, IL. Georgia Rae Family Band has opened up for Della Mae , played with 10 time grammy winner Bobby Hicks at the Midsummer in the Northwoods Bluegrass Festival in Manitoish Waters, WI, and played the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee with Guster. They've played in Branson, MO, where they appeared on Branson Country USA, and the John Hartford Festival in Bean Blossom, IN and the Jackpine Jamboree!! This year finds them at Chicago Botanic Garden, Morton Arboretum, and our first time in Eau Claire, Duluth, Madison, and Chicago.
Georgia Rae is the 2015 & 2013 IL, the 2016, 2015 MN, and the 2014 WI Grand Champion Fiddler. She is a two-time twin fiddle division champion in MN and CO and the 2016 Weiser, Idaho National Old Time Fiddlers Twin Division Champion. Georgia Rae vlogs on facebook about her contest experiences. She also co- hosts a radio show, Kick Back with Georgia Rae and Jacks with co-host Jackson White on Harvard Community Radio, 101.3 FM every Sunday night from 7-9! You will also hear her on the Women in Rock radio show Monday nights from 8-9 on WBSD, 89.1 FM, Burlington, WI. Yeah, life rocks!
Georgia Rae has discovered the loop pedal and sometimes features that in a segment of the family band set. She also performs a solo act, "A Girl and her Loop."
Northern Illinois Bluegrass Association, http://www.nibaweb.org; PO Box 310, West Dundee, IL 60118
MN Bluegrass Old-Time Music Assn, http://minnesotabluegrass.org PO Box 16408, Minneapolis, MN, 55416, (800) 635-3037
Illinois Old Time Fiddlers Association, http://www.illinoisoldtimefiddlers.org/
Minnesota Old Time Fiddlers Association, http://www.fiddlemn.com/, 205 Minnesota Street W, Cannon Falls, MN 5500
Kelly Jo is the lead vocalist. She also plays the little instruments, like the kazoo, ukelele, and a little banjo. She shares the inside scoop on the family band volg. Quintessa plays mandolin, some banjo and guitar. The girls have been doing a lot of writing lately and enjoy their sister song writing sessions, and late night jam parties. House rule is this.: "You can play at late and as loud as you wish!" Lol! Mom and Dad still don't regret that. No turning back now. :)