The Hickories
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The Hickories

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This band has not uploaded any videos



""Go[es] down real smooth and not too sweet.""

Harmonizing female vocalists, a waltz or two, some “la la la’s”: sounds like a sure recipe for one o’ them “feel-good” bands. Luckily, The Hickories turn away from the sweetness toward a pedal-steel twang that drops those voices right into country. There are some folk notes, some surprising bursts of guitar-driven rock, and it all mixes up to go down real smooth and
not too sweet. The Hickories play Poe’s Thursday, July 13, at 9:30 p.m. $5. 648-2120.
-- Brandon Reynolds - Style Weekly, Richmond

"NPR - 88.5 WAMU/American University Radio" - Interview and Acoustic Performance on "Metro Connection"

"Nightlife Agenda Pick"

The Hickories, opening for Emmet Swimming at the State Theatre, play jangly folk-pop that features plenty of wonderful female harmonies. It sounds like something you may have heard on college radio in the '80s before that whole grunge thing happened. --David Malitz - The Washington Post

""Tuneful songs that are hard to forget""

Fronted by the charismatic presence and unmistakable voice of Michelle Volpe, the Hickories write tuneful songs that are hard to forget. "Killers" builds to its climax as Mike Conner's ever-tasteful guitar work punctuates the crescendo with harmonics and twang. "Drown" is the perfect vehicle to showcase the group's serpentine harmonies, while the title track is a mid-tempo road trip taken in an old car for old time's sake. It's beautiful, leisurely and familiar; the Hickories at their finest and the ultimate headphone track of the band's debut. "1965" offers some vintage guitar sounds and superb fuzz-bass tones, but it is below their ultimate potential. To close this wonderful debut EP, "Heather Lane" is a slice of '60s-inspired pop that sounds simultaneously fresh and retro. --David Cotton - On Tap, Washington, DC

""The best of folk and country""

The Hickories, an Arlington-based five-piece that released its debut offering, "Lost in Pennsylvania," in September, showed off an elegant, upbeat presence with warm, inviting songs that combined the best of folk and country.

The intricate, melodic vocal interplays between guitarist-singer Michelle Volpe and harmony singer Meghan Sharp are the songs' hooks -- and it doesn't hurt that both are easy to look at -- but the band, particularly Mike Conner's tasteful electric guitar and a rhythm section often carrying the melody, is a bonus. The original songs, "1965" and "Heather Lane" among them, were compellingly varied, and their cover of the Beatles' "What Goes On" demonstrated a welcome playful side. Think Last Train Home with women singers. In fact, that would be a terrific double-bill.
--Buzz McClain - The Washington Post - Show Review - IOTA

""The California dreaminess of the Mamas & the Papas""

"I have a thing for an era I've never known," Michelle Volpe sings on "1965," a song from "Lost in Pennsylvania," the new five-song EP from the singer-songwriter's quintet, the Hickories. No one in the Arlington-based band was alive in 1965, but the group does evoke the jangly guitars of the Byrds (the group was named after the Byrds' song "Hickory Wind") and the California dreaminess of the Mamas & the Papas. The sweet vocal harmonies of Volpe and band mate Meghan Sharp would be a lot more effective if the chorus melodies were more memorable. --Geoffrey Himes - The Washington Post - EP Review

""The lovechild of early R.E.M. and The Softies""

Hailing from Arlington, Virginia, The Hickories combine distinctive harmony vocals with sugary sweet arrangements to make for great pop rock sounds on its debut EP Lost in Pennsylvania.

Led by the dual female vocals of Michelle Volpe and Meghan Sharp, the band sounds like the lovechild of early R.E.M. and The Softies--two great bands to be compared with. The thing that sets The Hickories apart from those other two bands is the slightest hint of Americana/alt-country music in the band's sound that adds a somber edge to the pop compositions.

The title track is one of the stronger efforts on the EP and Mike Conner's contributions with the lap steel gives a melancholy Midwestern feel to a song about the Keystone State. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have "Heather Lane," a catchy, up-tempo track with a sing-along chorus that brings the EP to an exuberant close. --Greg Yost - Music Monthly

"One Track Mind - "1965""

STANDOUT TRACK: No. 4, "1965," a Beatlesque number that evades both parody and cover-band cheesiness. Over hand claps, fuzz bass, and sharp snare cracks, vocalist/lyricist/guitarist Michelle Volpe sings about being too young for the '60s: "In the black-and-white photo/From not that long ago/Your eyes staring out/From somewhere that I don't know."

MUSICAL MOTIVATION: After discovering Dad's Fab Four vinyl as a youth, the now-30-year-old Volpe spent hours with Beatles books and photos, trying "to figure out what was going through their minds." The Arlington quintet's lead guitarist, Mike Conner, supplied the finishing touch: an era-appropriate bridge. "It's a good contrast to the other parts of the song," Volpe says, "and it's more of a blatant tribute to music from that time."

THINK FOR YOURSELF: "When you really sit down and learn a Beatles song on guitar exactly as it is played," says Conner, "you really get a whole new appreciation for the Beatles not just as songwriters but as guitarists." Conner created "1965"'s bridge with what he calls "a Harrison-type layer on top of the basic Lennon-type strumming Michelle is doing on acoustic."

Like "I Need You," from Help!? Maybe--though Volpe says, "When I came up with the line 'It was 1965/I wasn't even yet alive,' I think I was mainly thinking of Rubber Soul." But wasn't that album just a transition to the next year's even greater Revolver? And doesn't Volpe know that a recent book called 1966 "the coolest year in pop culture history"? "'It was 1966/I wasn't even yet alive' just doesn't have the same ring," she says. --Dave Nuttycombe - Washington City Paper

"Honorable Mentions"

All five songs on "Lost in Pennsylvania" are Honorable Mentions in Billboard's 2005 Songwriting Contest.

"Sweet Time After All" received Honorable Mentions in Billboard's 2003 Songwriting Contest in the Rock/Alternative Rock and Country/Folk categories.

The song also peaked at Number 11 of the Top 50 Downloads when it debuted on the Washington Post's site in 2003. - Billboard Worldwide Songwriting Contest

"NXNE Critics' Pick"

Critics' Pick for our show Thursday, June 8, 2006, 10 pm at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Ontario. "The best Byrdsian country band in Washington, DC?" --Tim Perlich - NOW Magazine, Toronto


* Lost in Pennsylvania (EP - Fall 2005)
* Theme song to Travesty Films' 48-Hour Film Project Entry, "Den Forgpagter Hus" (Spring 2006)
* Artomatic Compilation CD (Winter 2004)
* Sweet Time After All (Demo - 2002)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Rich with harmonies and rooted in rock, The Hickories offer "warm, inviting songs that [combine] the best of folk and country" -- according to THE WASHINGTON POST.

The Arlington, Virginia-based band forges its signature sound with jangly guitars and lush harmonies, evoking influences like the Byrds, early R.E.M. and the Cranberries.

And people are taking notice: The band has been featured at many festivals and conferences, including NXNE, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Millennium Music Conference and the Six Points Music Festival (which featured Army of Me in 2006). They play to packed houses at DC-area venues such as IOTA Club and Cafe, and open for acts with national audiences like Last Train Home, Lizzie West, Scott Miller and Emmett Swimming. And the Billboard Worldwide Song Contest has awarded the band six Honorable Mentions since 2003.

The Hickories released their debut recording, Lost in Pennsylvania, in the fall of 2005 with former drummer Michael Leger and former bassist Brian Vradenburg. One listen, and you're hooked by the "tuneful songs that are hard to forget" (ON TAP MAGAZINE). Whether on a recording or in live performance, if the gorgeous voices of Michelle Volpe and Meghan Sharp don't pull you in, then Mike Conner's tasteful guitar lines or Dale Hailey's and Phil Dennison's tight rhythm section will.

2006 finds The Hickories busy touring the East Coast to promote Lost in Pennsylvania and working on new material.