Junior League Band
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Junior League Band

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Washington Post December 2007"

ABOUT 30 YEARS AFTER Washington's status as the country's bluegrass capital began to slide, a new generation of local bands featuring banjo, mandolin and steel guitar is coming up. 'Grass-rooted outfits such as Junior League, however, aren't as devoutly old-timey as their predecessors. The group is fronted by a banjo-playing soprano, Lissy Rosemont, and its debut album, "Oh Dear," includes a pair of traditional tunes. Yet the disc opens with the unexpectedly funky "Charm," which matches Rosemont's airy vocals to darting fiddle and bluesy bass.

That song is not representative, but it does reflect the League's stylistic openness. If much of the band's music blows in on a hickory wind, Rosemont and her seven collaborators can also craft a song titled "Chess Records" (after the great '60s soul label) and mean it as much as they do "Black Mountain Aire." The group's material is generally nothing more radical than folk-rock with an Appalachian accent, yet it's consistently agreeable. It also walks a musical path that can lead to the future as easily as the past.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/13/AR2007121300903.html - The Washington Post

"Fluxblog September 2007"

Junior League "Charm" - I swear to you that I'm not making this up, but maybe the third time that I heard this song, I was walking up the street and I saw a monarch butterfly slowly gliding through the air, its orange wings contrasted with a perfect, cloudless blue sky. Pretty, yeah? Prettier still because that's exactly what this song is like -- it's just floating along with a natural beauty and grace that almost seems shocking and unreal. It fit just as well in the car yesterday, rolling through the mountains of Vermont, its seemingly infinite forests just beginning to turn red, orange, and yellow.

I listened to "Charm" several times over the weekend, each time trying to figure out what it was about this bluegrass pop tune that felt a bit off but also slightly familiar, and I think I found my answer while searching through their website: As it turns out, the singer Lissy Rosemont is a HUGE fan of Pearl Jam. Rosemont's voice sounds nothing at all like Eddie Vedder, but her approach to singing the song reminds me quite a bit of early Pearl Jam (think "Breath" and "Yellow Ledbetter"), particularly in the way she fills the open space in the track with a free flowing melody that conveys the potent emotion of the piece more so than the lyrics, which mostly exist to guide her through the piece, and provide the listener with hints and cues. - Matthew Perpetua, 9/24/2007
- Fluxblog

"Mel.Opho.Be National Blog April 2008"

I will say that watching Junior League and The Moondoggies relax, joke, and generally have a blast together was one of the best parts of being an audience member for this show. The hoots, vigorous applause, and head bobbing of the rest of the small crowd at the Sunset Tavern seemed to agree with me, too. These bands were having fun! Joking shouts for The Moondoggies to play "Rock Me Like a Hurricane" were instantly responded to by the opening riffs of the song and huge grins. Junior League upped the ante on their super bluesy and upbeat cover of Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues" by having various band members try to, with various stages of success, "out blues" each other, before laughing and closing the song. I have to say, I was totally surprised, because the evening didn't start off that way.

My smug, journalistic pride was quickly shattered at the door when I was told I wasn't on the guest list, as previously promised. A few vain phone calls later, my cheeks burning like two hot crumpets of shame, I ponied up the SIX WHOLE DOLLARS to get in, collected my dignity, got off my high horse, and tried to mosey, as best I could, towards the darkest corner of the Sunset Tavern. Also, there was some other confusion earlier about whether this was going to be a full Moondogies show or a solo set by their singer, Kevin Murphy. The poster on the wall said it was the full band, but as there were only fifteen or so audience members, so maybe the change had been conveyed too late. I barely had time to grab a beer before Washington D.C.'s own Junior League took the stage and shot into their song "Safer Gray," a raw, bluesy number, heavy on the old-time fiddle, with a chorus that goes something like:

"Old man, old man, why do you drink yourself away, why oh why do you drink yourself away?
Old woman, old woman, I drink myself away, cause it waters down the darkness, keeps things a safer gray."

Lissy Rosemont, in a lovely red dress and a self-promoting band sticker pasted onto her arm, played a mean banjo under, over, and around her haunting voice that sent shivers down my spine. The small crowd immediately responded either with yells and applause, or slowly swayed, totally captivated by the sound. Junior League moved on to other tracks, with some highlights being "Same as You," with its blues progression, sexy lounge feel, and saucy vocals. Also the percussive chords of "Wsm," over which Rosemont sang:

"The city sex, and your cigarettes, in abundance I miss him
Rain upon my skin, my baptism, show me how to live again."

This five-piece band sounded tight! The clean-cut guitarist and fiddler weaved back and forth around each other with ease, while the bearded drummer and hardly bearded (but sprouting!) bassist laid down a rhythm section impossible to not tap along to. These were classic, old time tunes, with a modern rock twist thrown in, and it sounded good! In between songs, Rosemont kept things light with stories and jokes, like how she bought some sexy shoes in Berkeley a couple of days ago at a hip shop, only to have the proprietor knowingly tell her "Oh, the other performers who bought these shoes really liked them." Rosemont confessed she didn't think the lady was referring to the same category of performers. "STRIPPERS!" she said in a loud stage whisper, getting laughs from the crowd.

After their excellent set, Junior League retired to the bar and merch booth in high spirits, while The Moondoggies began to set up. Rosemont joined them for their first song, which I didn't recognize, but had the chorus "Ain't no woman going to put me down!" The three part harmony and Rosemont's claw hammer banjo playing sounded fantastic!

http://mel.opho.be/index.php/show-reviews/moondoggies-junior-league-sunset-tavern-seattle-wa-april-14-2008.html - Mel.Opho.Be- Seattle

"Brightest Young Things- DC Blog- August 2007"

I first stumbled upon Junior League a few days before their CD release. I was poking around interweb corners, looking at one indie local band after the other and there they were. And boy, were they special. I’d say “a breath of fresh air” but I can hear the cliche bells ringing.
En route to their Pianos residency in New York, Lissy Rosemont, who leads this merry tribe of song mongers, wrote to me, placed a CD in the mail and ever since then if you walk into my house on a Sunday, I may make you listen to it. And by “may” I mean “I definitely will”.
The songs are both unabashedly old-fashioned and amazingly modern, a walk in the Appalachian Mountains crossed with a breeze in the middle of the sweltering city heat. It is the kind of music that makes you want to kick your shoes off, in the best way imaginable. There is banjo, a mandolin, some tasteful accordioning here and there, and Lissy’s crystal clear voice connecting it all. And they all write. They’ve been known to feature a fierce fiddle at folk festivals, busk drumless and acoustic on street corners, and are about to play a show this Friday at the Rock’n'Roll Hotel.

If you missed out on Neko Case, this is your chance for some first class bluegrass inspired music in the city this week.
They have also been kind enough to sit for us in Rock Creek, for our Twain inspired shoot (courtesy of kingpinphoto.com) and give us their record to play for you. (Lissy also wrote extensive liner notes which make for some wonderfully whimsiful reading and are below.) The band also keeps an audio blog on their website http://www.juniorleagueband.com/ which gives away a free mp3 every two weeks, so you should get on that.

http://www.brightestyoungthings.com/featured/sitting-pretty-with-junior-league/ - Brightest Young Things

"This Week in New York July 2007"

The sounds of DC’s the Junior League will be on display once again Sunday night as they finish up a June residency at the upstairs lounge at Piano’s on the Lower East Side. With a nod to Appalachian roots and a focus on songwriting and strong melodies, the Junior League presents a contemporary take on a traditional sound, sonically shuffling the deck from week to week.

The group’s magical shape-shifting powers (driven by a sparkling collective ingenuity . . . or perhaps logistics) promise an element of mystery as to what form the lineup will present itself as. They’ve been known to feature a fierce fiddle at folk festivals, busk drumless and acoustic on street corners, and even serve up a touch of tasteful accordion on their brand-new CD, Oh Dear.

Always, though, the band’s rural-tinged Americana is driven by banjo, guitar, and mandolin and highlighted by the sweet vocals of the delectable Lissy Rosemont (formerly of the Rosemont Family Reunion), while more often than not featuring a solid backbeat and a dose of blues-drenched harmonica for good measure. The Younger Sister Band gets things going at 8:00. -- by Pete Millerman for twi-ny

http://timessquare.com/Blogs/This_Week_In_New_York/TWI-NY's_Hot_Five:_June_21-July_1/ - This Week in New York

"GW Hatchet- December 2007"

Junior League seem aptly prepared to give citizens of D.C. renewal of a "positive right," potentially one that has failed to be realized since the 1980s: that is, the right to a worthwhile local scene.

…And justice for all. Seriously.

"D.C. is made fun of in a way because it does not really have a legacy of producing bands," Platt said. "It seems like it's a good place to be."

Junior League is made up of Platt (bass), Lissy Rosemont (vocals and banjo), Dale Manning (mandolin and fiddle), Martin Thomas (harmonica). Eli Cohn (guitar) and Rob Blunt (drums).

Though the band is alt-country based, with influences ranging from bluegrass singer-songwriter Gillian Welch to Old Crow Medicine Show to classic rockers The Band, Platt explained that those attending Junior League shows are generally indie rock or pop fans.

"When you take away the drum set, we're basically a string band, and that means we can just go without worrying about a microphone," said Platt, who played with Junior League at farmers markets in Dupont and Mount Pleasant this summer.

But do not let this provincial, produce-friendly effort fool you: Junior League boasts more than smiles from market-goers who love fresh produce.

The band's earned both local and national chops: gigs at both the Rock and Roll Hotel and The Black Cat and the recent culmination of a West Coast tour, plus completion of their first LP, "Oh Dear," recorded at National Public Radio's Washington studio, available on both their MySpace page and on music site Pandora.

"I think the band's moving at a pretty accelerated rate," he said.

Considering Junior League has existed for less than a year, few would disagree. The current line-up was set this past summer, after the band first began in February when Lissy Rosemont decided to start the project and other members of the band started joining to play folksy music.

Platt gives much of the credit for Junior League's innovative promotion techniques to Rosemont, whose efforts got the band mention in area publications such as the Washington City Paper. But Platt's sure to note that it's not just promotion efforts, but Junior League's sound that makes them distinct.

"Playing with a drum set and all acoustic instruments is difficult," says Platt, who noted that interestingly enough, it was this that prompted Junior League to produce such deliberate arrangements, defining their tight, smooth composition. Tracks like "Chess Records" or "Charm" are built on gradual releases and string arrangements substantiated by Rosemont's voice, influenced by bluegrass singer Alison Krauss.

Inevitably, for Junior League the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That is to say that instrumental composition, inventive promotion and quality vocals exist for the sake of community: both for that of the band itself and for listeners. Seriously, "positive rights" never sounded so good.
http://media.www.gwhatchet.com/media/storage/paper332/news/2007/12/06/Arts/Junior.League.To.Headline.Black.Cat-3136073.shtml - GW Hatchet


Oh Dear (2007) NPR Studios, Washington, DC
The Potomac Two-Step (2008) Washington, DC



Junior League Band, a new group out of Washington, D.C. came together by a chance meeting from the DC party scene. Lissy Rosemont, (the band's leader and cofounder) was known about town as the banjo playing girl in the Rosemont Family Reunion and the Delta Blues Project she played alongside her father titled, �Hal Beaver and Blackgrass�. When Lissy met Devin McGaughey (Junior League�s first drummer) and Dale Manning (Fiddle) everything just felt right and came together. Rosemont hails as a direct descendant to fiddle history, being the great grandchild to the Van Hoy brothers� creators of the momentous �Fiddlers Grove.� (An event she participated in since childhood) The family influence of Rosemont does not end there, her brother who goes under the alias �RedTag�, has given the band a few songs which were used on their first release in 2007; titled, �Oh Dear.� Lissy Rosemont and Devin McGaughey produced this first record with audio engineers Rob Byers and Johnny Vince Evans (of All Songs Considered 9:30 Club Broadcasts) at NPR�s Studio 4A under an extramural clause, the studio manager�s allotted for a non-broadcast related recording. The name, �Oh Dear� came about when �Red tag� came down to the studio to guest vocal on the song �Same As You,� and at the end of the track you can hear him anxiously, exhaustedly say �Oh Dear.� This collection of music was warmly received, as well as their follow-up EP, "The Potomac 2-step". With their second full-length scheduled for fall, the group is anxious for its release. This yet to be titled album promises to feature more male harmonies, a little more slide blues guitar and slide on the banjo as well keeping the familiar flow that makes Junior League so unique. Junior League Band has seen different incarnations of members, but the current lineup is as follows: Eli Cohn- guitar and backup vocals-grew up on Doc Watson and works part-time with a group called Housing Counseling Service where he helps poor folks out of predatory lending practices and criminal landlords. Will Waikart- drums/ percussion- Will sought out fame and was chosen for the reality show �Americas Next Top Band� by playing drums for the group �Politiks.� Today he is currently an audio engineer in DC and also gives drum lessons. Lissy Rosemont has remained a solid fixture in the band with her banjo, harmonica and lead vocal style. Special guests that appear on the band�s recordings as well as performances include: Kailin Young on fiddle (of Carnegie Hall, Boulder Acoustic Society), Martin Thomas on harmonica, as well as Nate Leath (of the Old School Freight Train) on fiddle, Sam Wiesenberg on Lap Steel (Brooklyn musician),Alex Platt plays upright bass/electric bass, backup vocals and Rurik Newnan (or Vortex Park) on fiddle and more. Junior League Band�s music is as familiar as it is fresh. Combining the old-time/bluegrass tradition with an indie-pop sensibility, the group crafts songs that are in the words of D.C.'s leading music/'scene' blog "Brightest Young Things", "A walk in the Appalachian Mountains crossed with a breeze in the middle of the sweltering city heat." Just over a year old, Junior League Band has already brought capacity crowds to hear their "delightfully breezy" (as the Washington Post puts it) brand of Americana at many of D.C.'s top venues. They've also shared the stage with the likes of Carrie Rodriguez, Blueground Undergrass, Jason Isbell, Bishop Allen, Drew Emmitt, Hoots and Hellmouth and many others on their extensive tours up and down the East Coast (from Boston to Atlanta), in the Midwest (from Cleveland to Madison) and the West Coast (from LA to Seattle). This summer, Junior League Band's high-energy performances will be featured on the emerging artist stage at Virginia's Floydfest, and will also be featured at the largest music festival in the country--Milwaukee�s