Miss Derringer

Miss Derringer


"L.A.-based Miss Derringer are itching for a knife-fight with Dresden Dolls and the Raveonettes, and damned if it doesn’t sound like the band could take their turf....” Pitchfork


Miss Derringer - Winter Hill

The origins of Miss Derringer don’t begin in some alternate reality, set in a dusty ghost town with tumbleweeds, cacti and neon jukeboxes, blasting out The Clash, Johnny Cash, and the Shangri-Las. It wasn’t created in some Midwestern laboratory, fusing the DNA of punk, New Wave, Country, and Berry Gordy. Instead, it’s beginnings were much more humble, but no less outlaw.

Formed organically in 2004 when a wife (Liz McGrath, vocalist), a husband (Morgan Slade, guitarist), and his childhood friend/bandmate (Sylvain de Muizon, bassist) got together and started jamming in Los Angeles (rounded out these days by Cody James, drummer and Ben Shields, guitarist). Not quite a far-fetched beginning, but it’s no less quaint. Conceived at the halfway point where conventional rock merges with conceptual art, Miss Derringer muses on its namesake fictional character – a woman who is always on the wrong side of love and the law.

Inspired by the dusty vocals of ‘50s crooners and ‘60s girl groups like The Ronettes, Miss Derringer has a uniquely pop-melancholy sound that never ceases to explore how love can do you wrong. Their unique style and sound has earned considerable praise from the press with cover features in L.A. Weekly and Los Angeles City Beat (where Liz was voted "2008 Artist of the Year"). Pitchfork says Miss Derringer has, “the poise of a theater diva, the presence of a method actress, and the voice of a vamp surfer girl.”

Well-known in the art scene for her fantastical paintings and sculptures, Liz’s artwork are sweetly creepy and perfectly strange, posing as an appropriate counterpart to their music (she is represented in Los Angeles by Billy Shire Fine Arts and in New York by Sloan Fine Art). Morgan Slade is a photographer and illustrator. “I think that the ‘darker side’ is more interesting and people relate to it more,” explains Morgan about the artistic eye both he and Liz bring to both their music and their artwork. “I personally resonate with music and art that reminds me of harder times than celebrations of fun and happy things. So in that way, its not a conscious effort, its just how we end up writing Miss Derringer's world. Plus, Miss Derringer usually pulls through at the end of each song!”

The band’s visual prowess comes to life in their lives shows where the band transforms into a virtual performance art piece—costumed and coiffed. They have toured with Blondie, Bad Religion, IAMX, and John Doe.

Their third album, Winter Hill, stays true to its unique sound, mixing Western-tinged moodiness with New Wave accessibility. The songs tell the sorrow of a woman’s sacrifice amidst the uncertainty and cruelty of the infamous 1960s Boston-Irish mob war. Launching with the playful opening track "Click Click Bang Bang" with a propulsive upright bassline and Blondie-styled shimmy, the album kicks off with a 'bang' and doesn't let up. From the twang-fueled girl-group send-up "Black Tears" to the velvety forelorn angst of "Death by Desire" to the dramatic "Drop Shot Dead" (which could be a lost song from West Side Story), the album creates an almost visceral aural backdrop to a story that doesn't even really have a storyline.

Miss Derringer may be inclined to scribe and sing about outlaws, as they too are a band of outsiders—hard to classify, impossible to ignore.


King James, Crown Royal and a Colt 45 - 2004
Lullabies - 2006
Black Tears EP - 2007
Winter Hill - 2009

Set List

10 songs. All originals, mostly from new album "Winter Hills"

Click Click
Black Tears
Heartbreak and Razor Blades
Better Run Away From Me
All The Pretty Things
Don't Leave Me Now
Tell Me So
Tonight I've Got a Bottle