Rooster & Ree

Rooster & Ree


High-energy urban folk/alt country duo. The high quality songwriting and exciting performance brings the audience right into their "world".


Rooster was born somewhere near 86th street and the Hudson river. Ree was born where the Mohawk River meets the Erie Canal. Rooster learned to navigate the MTA as Ree jumped an Amtrack to the nearest city whenever she could. Rooster's father raised her on Dylan, Ree's father formed her with Roy Orbison and Bruce Springsteen.
Rooster inherited her mother's old classical guitar and taught herself Dylan tunes and Leonard Cohen songs. She spent a year in Vermont working at a children's record label (Rebop), singing backup and playing open mics. It was during this year that she started developing her unique style of waltz/polyrhythmic fingerpicking and sense of songwriting.

Ree's first song was recorded on an oversized walkman when she was six years old. It wasn't very good, but she used her own type of "tracking" system of recording herself singing along with a tape of herself. She would play an old piano that they kept in the basement and soon started writing and arranging songs for her Jr. High Choir and Drama Club. Her father, a local performing musician, would bring her and her older brother (a bassist) to the American Legion parties that he played and they would join in. Ree idolized the rockers of the 70's & 80's, but was highly influenced by her mother's love of country music.
The summer after they met, R & R worked in the "Pick n' pack" at an upstate curtain factory. (Rooster was a picker, Ree a packer) At the company picnic, the two got involved in the Kareoke contest and tied for first place. The judges decided to pit them against each other by having them each sing the same song (of the judges' choosing) Rooster took to the stage and the song "Amazing Grace" (Deliverance-style) started up. After the first verse, Rooster motioned towards Ree to join her on stage and they finished the song in wild harmony—blowing away the factory crowd and splitting the $100 prize.

Within months, the newly-formed duo found a cheap apartment on the Lower East Side of NYC and jobs in Manhattan. They spent their time writing songs, visiting open mics and playing gigs. They gave up everything that they had in order to buy the guitars they perform with and give their lives over to the music. Although the choice of L.E.S. was accidental (a friend of a friend of...) Rooster and Ree took to calling it home--and why not, everything that they had ever worked for was right there. The magic would have followed them to any neighborhood, but here they thrived on Café Bustello and the I-IV-V progression.

Rooster & Ree self-describe their music as "Country Music for City Folks", but their sound is much more universal. The two girls, who are a part of the NYC Songwriters Circle, are genuine crafters of song. They perform with life and enthusiasm and are at home playing dive bars, jam-band festivals, and places of worship as well as coffee shops and all ages punk shows. No one really knows why, but it probably has something to do with the way they demand your attention, hold you really close, tell you what to feel, and then let you go—leaving you wanting more.


UrbanHobo: May2003 (on LES 1930)

*Already has received airplay on various radio shows, spun (and talked about) on WFUV as well as played on various college radio stations

Set List

A typical set usually includes about 10 songs. The girls try to get a good balance of songs that were mainly written by Rooster and songs that were mainly written by Ree.

One show would usually have about 5 songs from the album, a couple songs that they have been performing out, but they did not include on "UrbanHobo" and the rest would be "newer" songs.

Some titles include:

This Girl
Granma Got Rhythm
F Train
Flippin Pennies
Upturned Face
The Girl of Yer Dreams
Every Venture