The beauty and mystery of Po Girl's music - a sound that has beguiled fans the world over - springs from the mesmerizing bond shared by its two lead singers and writers - Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira. Hailing from Montreal and Toronto respectively, both women left untenable home situations at fourteen, found music instead of bad ends, and lived to sing the tales. The interplay between these two stunning performers is truly something to behold. You'll hear echoes of speakeasy jazz, the western lament, the accordion-strapped ghosts of European folk accompanied by the wail of the clarinet in the music of Po'Girl-- but it's delivered with a soulful clarity, and depth of feeling that makes it all their own.
It seems almost silly - and not very interesting - to trot out a long, endlessly hyphenated list of the many influences coursing through Po Girl's music. Suffice to say it's 21st Century roots music - North Americana if you will--never derivative, not faithfully aping a beloved tradition. Teixeira and Russell don't re-hash the old forms, they reshape and reinvigorate them for new ears.
Since Po'Girl's birth in Vancouver, BC in 2003- Russell and Teixeira (and an ever revolving cast of stellar musical friends), have averaged over 250 days/year on the road --bringing their inimitable roots revelry to 13 countries, and 4 continents-- winning over new fans and friends everywhere they go. With 5 internationally critically acclaimed studio albums, a live album, a b-sides album, and a DVD to their credit with Po'Girl- Alli and Awna have firmly established themselves as two dynamic, compelling songwriter/singer/multi-instrumentalists with true staying power.
2012 sees them both exploring more facets of their artistry with some exciting new projects. Awna is getting ready to record her first solo album-- it will be released on Aug 20th, 2012. She's also working on a companion volume to her first book - A Brief History and Introduction to the Gutbucket Bass- and a new series of Children's Books, for more information visit www.hazytales.me
Alli has teamed up with Chicago songsmith JT Nero ( of JT and the Clouds), they're currently working on their debut duo record Birds of Chicago to be released in summer/fall 2012 for more information visit www.jtandalli.com
She's also involved in a recording project called Sankofa 'The Uptown Strut' to be released March 27th, 2012 on Kingswood Records- featuring John Sebastian (Loving Spoonful), Dom Flemons (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Ndidi Onukwulu, Sule Greg Wilson, and Professor Louie ( the Band) for more information visit soundcloud.com/1888media/sets/sankofa-the-uptown-strut.
Po'Girl will be doing one tour and one tour only in 2012 , March 21st through April 14th in the Netherlands and the UK joined by Mikey 'Lightning' August on drums and Chris Merrill on bass. These are the only scheduled Po'Girl shows this year, in order for Alli and Awna to have time to record, release, and tour their new albums. They'll be working on the songs for the next Po'Girl record and making guest appearances on each other's new projects too-- you can expect a new Po'Girl album down the line in early 2014.
Genuine gypsies, these two wander and play. They move and move and play and sing. It's quite simple. Always restless, more often than not bone-tired, they write their flashes of sadness, their loss, their good love, their hope, their dreams of home into songs that matter deeply to them. Like any good art, they are little acts of self-rescue. So you should listen. You aren't much different from them, and who couldn't use a little rescuing these days?
For North American bookings contact:
For UK bookings contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Netherlands bookings contact: email@example.com
Tour dates, bios, press quotes and merchandise: www.pogirl.net
Allison Russell - Banjo, Vocals, Guitar, Clarinet, ukulele
Awna Teixeira - Banjo, Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Harmonica, Accordion, Electric Bass, ukulele, gutbucket bass
Po' Girl (2003)
Vagabond Lullabies (2004)
Home to You (2007)
Unreleased (2008) aka Sofia "No Shame" (2007)
Deer in the Night (2009)
Po'Girl Live (2009)
Follow Your Bliss (2010)
Live at Blue Rock Studio, TX DVD
when we are love
follow your bliss
To The Morning
In The Days
The Music Box review of Po'Girl Deer in the Night
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Po' Girl Deer in the Night (Po' Girl) First Appeared in The Music Box, May 2009, Volume 16, #5 W...Po' Girl
Deer in the Night
First Appeared in The Music Box, May 2009, Volume 16, #5
Written by Douglas Heselgrave
Wed May 27, 2009, 06:30 AM CDT
Po’ Girl has undergone its share of changes in the last few years, but rather than sinking the outfit, they have spurred its growth and made it stronger. The band originally started as a side project that united The Be Good Tanyas’ Trish Klein and Fear of Drinking’s Allison Russell. Assuming a life of its own, Po’ Girl not only has managed to outlast both of its predecessors, but it also has become one of the most interesting and diverse roots-oriented outfits touring and recording today.
Longtime fans of Po’ Girl quickly will identify the most obvious difference between Deer in the Night and the group’s trio of earlier endeavors: Both Klein and multi-instrumentalist Diona Davies have left the band, which leaves Russell as the only founding member to remain. The good news is that Klein and Davies’ replacements — vocalist/guitarist Awna Teixeira and virtuoso string player Benny Sidelinger — fit beautifully into the ethos of Po’ Girl’s genre-hopping minstrel-show, which unequivocally makes Deer in the Night the ensemble’s best album yet.
Po’ Girl’s influences typically have run the gamut from hip-hop to vaudeville. Not surprisingly, its approach has been so wide-sweeping in scope that it occasionally has threatened to derail the band’s melodies. Teixeira and Sidelinger, however, have the vocal and instrumental chops that are necessary for smoothly traversing this terrain. Consequently, they evenhandedly carry the songs across a broad range of musical ideas.
Lyrically, Po’ Girl’s songs have never been stronger. The group now sounds as if it has blossomed to the point where it credibly can deliver the hard-luck narratives that it has been sculpting since the release of its self-titled debut in 2003. The material on Deer in the Night exudes degrees of authority and authenticity that sometimes have eluded the outfit in the past. This time around, there’s something ineffable in Russell’s vocal delivery, and it allows her to convey the kind of understanding of her subject matter that can only be provided by the experiences of life. As a result, the characters who inhabit her songs have more depth, and the stories that Russell fashions around them ultimately become three-dimensional. Tracks like No Shame, a harrowing tale of sexual abuse, come across as developed, mature, and masterful.
Like Klein, Teixeira adds country-imbued dimensions to Po’ Girl’s style. Otherwise, the similarities between the musicians end there. While Klein had a lovely sense of melody as well as a pleasant voice, she largely remained in the background. In contrast, Teixeira’s contributions are placed front-and-center throughout Deer in the Night. She is a powerful yet nuanced vocalist whose contributions, such as Gandy Dancer and Dig Me a Hole, are among the best tracks on the effort.
Po’ Girl arose amidst the popular, alt-country scene at the turn of the millennium. Where many of the group’s peers either have altered their focus or faded away, Po’ Girl has proven itself to be remarkably resilient. Transitions can be difficult, of course, and frequently, they have sounded the death knell for fledgling outfits. Yet, Po’ Girl has managed the difficult task of retaining everything that was compelling and beautiful about its original lineup. At the same time, it also has made the sorts of decisions that will assure its continued artistic growth. In other words, with Deer in the Night, Po’ Girl has proven that it has what it takes to survive for the long haul.
Read more: http://www.musicbox-online.com/dh/review/05272009/po-girl-deer.html#ixzz0SEgNCO0d
Wears the Trousers review of Po'Girl Deer in the Night
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po’ girl: deer in the night (2009) March 30, 2009, 10:19 am Po’ Girl Deer In The Night •••• ...po’ girl: deer in the night (2009)
March 30, 2009, 10:19 am
Deer In The Night ••••
In an age where advertising cultivates a market into which it can sell its product – in other words, tells the consumer what she or he should need – popular music is a tool that’s ripe for exploitation. Records are products with an exchange value; we, as consumers, like to collect them, enjoy the artwork, the fact that we own a piece of the singer or band that we like; we develop relationships around these products, as a record collector may boast of their hard-to-find Raincoats EPs. And not only are these products commodities, so is the very notion of artistic expression and youthful rebellion.
We can all be a guitar hero on the PlayStation, even though we might have a beautiful shining electric guitar in the corner that we never play, and so the electric guitar has become the signifier for the notion and a commodity in its own right. And so rock ‘n’ roll and rebellion has become a commodity in its own right, and this is where Marx brings us to the conclusion: with popular music increasingly absorbed in the means of production, with its own exchange value, where do the impulses that created that music in the first place now lie? What relationship does a factory worker assembling Guitar Hero Fenders in China have to the culture that it signifies? Is it a question of rescuing those things that produced the music in first place, and can we break into new territory and redeem popular music? Maybe not.
In a rearguard defence, the uncorrupted and true spirit of music is upheld by acts like Po’ Girl. For those unfamiliar with the band’s three previous albums, put simply, if you like the down-home harmonies and bittersweet feel of The Be Good Tanyas, this music is for you. Tanyas member Trish Klein has, in the past, lent her services to Po’ Girl – this is their first album without her – though any similarity between the two groups ends beyond the first cursive listen. Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira, along with relative newcomer Benny Sidelinger, have carved themselves a niche in a rather expansive alternative folk scene. A rattle bag of Americana that spans from the Mississippi Delta to the Paprika Plains of Saskatchewan, their songs are woven together like thickets of prairie grass.
Though Po’ Girl are certainly ambitious in their approach to their music, Deer In The Night never comes across as pretentious. On the band’s Myspace, their music is classed as “urban roots”, which is rather apt considering that they come from Montreal and Toronto but sound as rural as sharecroppers. The percussion dances around the edges of the music, making a soft 4/4 stride that will have your head nodding in time, probably before you even notice. The opening (and title) track is one of the best on the album and sounds like an old gospel tune with its interweaving two-part harmonies. Other immediate standouts are ‘Dig Me A Hole’, with its clarinet-driven introduction and funky electric piano, and ‘Grace’, a beautiful piece of power pop with a melancholic chorus that makes the heart flutter.
Deer In The Night is definitely a grower and, like a good wine, will need time for the individuality to shine through. Po’ Girl demonstrate the art of understatement very successfully. In every song, the greatest effect is achieved by the most economical means, allowing the listener to pick out each part of the melody as though every string pluck and bell jingle holds the song together. Some of the darker lyrical themes on the album, in particular those concerning traumatic childhood experiences, are both heartbreaking and hopeful. Our current fascination with trauma memoirs and biography is certainly catered for with this kind of subject matter. Of course, one of music’s greatest functions is its therapeutic power of redemption and catharsis, and in this sense alone a commodity this music is not.
Little Vilage review of Po'Girl Deer in the Night
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Williams • Mar 13th, 2009 • Category: CD Reviews Po Girl Deer in the NightPo’ Girl Deer in the N...Williams • Mar 13th, 2009 • Category: CD Reviews
Po Girl Deer in the NightPo’ Girl
Deer in the Night
Canada is, like, this whole other country. They apparently are secretly responsible for about half of the music we think of as American. Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen? All Canadian. Comes now Po’Girl–two women, Awna Texeira, and Allison Russell, one Torontonian, one Quebecois–sneaking across at Windsor, Ontario, to conquer us all over again. They’ll be at the Mill March 4th. Be sure and make them show their passports.
For all their sneaky, English-speaking foreignness, I think these women are exactly the sort of music that fits perfectly in Iowa City. The banjo and accordion and minimal drum kit would go down great with Will Whitmore and the Escape The Floodwater Jugband. They write sweet songs that fit their voices like old clothes too, and their unruly dueling vibratos recall their fellow countrywomen Kate and Anna McGarrigle. But while they’re acoustic folkies in the broadest sense, what intrigues me about their sound is that they’re much odder and more interesting than that. Touches of jazz idiosyncrasy in their their vocal lines, echoes of French chanson, hints of the deliciously odd Nova Scotian folk, all mix together into an organic whole.
What makes this CD special is their unique approach to vocal harmony. Their voices always add up, but each singer’s natural rhythm is different, so they sound perfectly together and ready to fall apart at the same time. One has husky voice with reedy overtones, one has the edgy sweetness of Emmy Lou Harris. All joking about Canada aside (and who can resist that?), Po’Girls is rough and smooth, sweet and tart, and would be huge stars in that super-cool alternate universe I’ve always wanted to live in. And, they sent me a picture postcard of Ontario, how cool is that?
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“With enough sultry ambiance to be at home in either cocktail lounge or New Orleans street corner, P...“With enough sultry ambiance to be at home in either cocktail lounge or New Orleans street corner, Po’ Girl features a simple, polished production of wistful, plaintively slurred vocals over a sparse yet warm jazz-folk accompaniment of guitar, stand-up bass, harmonica, banjo and clarinet. Americana can seem like a language from a forgotten era, but Po’ Girl’s sentiment never feels forced, the lyricism never cliché or false. They manage to maintain that traditional and nostalgic sound while breathing fresh life into an old-fashioned genre.”
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“Their richly textured music conveys a late-night, jazzy, improvisational feeling, thanks partly to ...“Their richly textured music conveys a late-night, jazzy, improvisational feeling, thanks partly to Russell’s wonderfully dreamy clarinet flourishes, the understated production, and soulful vocals that eschew perfect harmonies in favor of loose-knit, spontaneous-sounding interplay.”
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“What separates Po’ Girl from so many other folky groups with multiple singers is that no matter how...“What separates Po’ Girl from so many other folky groups with multiple singers is that no matter how sweet their voices are, what really stands out is the mesmerizing groove. They’re fine songwriters, too, but that’s not what first hits you. It’s the lazy sway of Po’ Girl’s music, a hypnotic and humid sway that’s hard to resist.”
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“Po' Girl has the same womanly (not girlish, mind you) croon of the 1920s and '30s blues mamas - yet...“Po' Girl has the same womanly (not girlish, mind you) croon of the 1920s and '30s blues mamas - yet their music isn't of another era.”
L.A. Daily News
“...these girls are anything but po’ at what they do.”
“…likely to win over even more folk fans…”
BBC, Folk and Country Review
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“This is a sweet little gem showcasing some of the finest acoustic musicians Canada currently has to...“This is a sweet little gem showcasing some of the finest acoustic musicians Canada currently has to offer.”
A selection of their original material, drawn from their last 6 releases, and brand new material.
Set length depends on the venue, and what the promoter has negotiated with Po'Girl's booking agents. 2 /45 min sets is a common format. Also 1/75-90min set is common.
The band very rarely covers songs. However when they do they are well chosen, off the beaten path and made very much their own. Songs they've covered:
Le Partisan ( anon), Til it's Gone ( JT Lindsay) Gone in Pawn ( Elizabeth Cotten), Stabbed By Satan( K'Naan), Put the Blame on Mame, Ain't Life Sweet ( Penny Lang)
PDF RiderPo'Girl Stage Plot
There are no upcoming dates at this time.