Sister Ivy began in the summer of 2015, when on-again/off-again explorer of
music, Rachel Waterhouse, decided that she couldn’t keep hiding skeletons of songs under her twin bed anymore. The decision arose when local reporter Carrie Eidson, booked her to play a Mountain express acoustic session at Sherwood Music in Asheville, NC. Rachel nervously dusted off two of the skeletons and scribbled a few charts so that guitarist Brian Kirk could understand them (kind of), and chose a name. But it wasn’t enough. There was so much more that could be done…with drums…with some low end…with the endless supply of song bones. She needed a band. So, with a few poorly made charts and quite a few more pipe dreams, Rachel set out to find collaborators to flesh out her dreams.
The going was tough…with complicated designs and limited experience, band leading was a difficult task. There were lessons that Rachel had skipped that she had to keep going back to pick up. There were mistakes made and multiple changes of members, but every change was a challenge to grow and get better at the work. New songs came, along with new inspirations and new influences, gifted by the exemplary collaborators that loaned their time and energy to the project. Beautiful and excellent musicians added to the tunes in turn…giving them skin, motor skills–a nervous system even. Rachel began to be more on music than not, day by day, as the project grew in complexity and depth, and Sister Ivy became a matter of utmost importance in her life.
Now, after nearly two and a half years of gestation, Sister Ivy is feeling rooted enough to release somewhat permanent interpretations of her music, in the form of recorded material. The EP, Plecia, recorded at El Rancho Morbido in Black Mountain in June and July of 2017 with guitarist Kayla Zuskin, bassist Brennan Dugan, and drummer Will Miller, will be released in March. The three-song EP features a fairly wide representation of the sounds Sister Ivy produces, from the neo-soul vibe of Dark Magic, to the highly jazz influenced track, Nu V.U., and the epic, free-verse poem that is Song of the Skeleton Woman. The single, Sepia Sun, recorded independently with current band members (Asher Hill on bass, Paul Gladstone on drums) and local trumpeter Alex Bradley, will be released in February, along with Sister Ivy’s first ever Music Video. The E.P. release party at the Isis Music Hall on March 30th will be a showcase of all these tunes and more, with appearances from past and current members as well as new collaborators.
Ghost Pipe Trio, the brainchild of guitarist Leo Johnson, delivers high-energy compositions and groove-centric style which summon impressions of late masters, like Django and Zappa. They are a virtuous blend of vintage and modern jazz fused with elements of gypsy jazz, early swing, afro, latin, and flamenco. The trio’s spirit and lavish improvisations landed them a residency at one of Asheville NC’s finest late night establishments. Bolstering the city’s bustling nightlife, devotees of the band can be heard chanting “PIPE, PIPE, PIPE” as the band steps off for a set break.
With effortless feel and endless supply of ideas, Tommy Moore’s (drums) west African tendencies shine bold as the trio transitions through time and meter.
Isis Music Hall & Mt Spirit Promo Summary
Meanwhile, Sean McCann (bass) paves a golden road of groove and passion ensuring danceability and sophistication. Touted as “the best rhythm section in town!” by Zach Page (local bass legend), the group’s following grows every week.
The trio’s intention to improvise is realized through vintage tone. Driven by Leo’s “Hot Rod” Harmony Archtone 1963 and Sean’s 1967 Fender Coronado, the band pushes the boundaries of expectation and style. As the band’s first year nears a successful end, they set their sights on a European tour in the spring of 2018, as well as the release of their first full length album, “The Effervescent Professor, Dr. Bubbly”.