The Vogts Sisters
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The Vogts Sisters

Erie, Kansas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Erie, Kansas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Duo Americana Folk

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
26
The Vogts Sisters @ Homer's Coffee House

Overland Park, KS

Overland Park, KS

Nov
18
The Vogts Sisters @ The Donut Whole

Wichita, KS

Wichita, KS

Oct
15
The Vogts Sisters @ Ozark Folk Festival

Eureka Springs, AR

Eureka Springs, AR

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


by Jeremy Johnson

Coffeehouse concerts can give off an “open mic night” vibe–i.e., informal and amateurish, the sort of thing musicians and listeners try to avoid. Musicians have to battle with screaming espresso machines for the audience’s attention. Sometimes nobody shows up but the musicians. Occasionally there’s awful poetry. In short, they can be a sad ordeal.

None of this was present at Root Coffeehouse on Friday night when the Vogts Sisters (pronounced “votes”) took the stage. The sisters–Maggie and Abigail–are anything but amateurs, now three years and two albums into their careers. They tour prodigiously, and they’re working on a third album to be released this year. They’ve received a pile of accolades, including positive album reviews from the likes of No Depression.

While these tidbits certainly point in the direction of the sisters’ capabilities, they don’t fully convey the experience of listening to them perform. They play a style of music best summed up by the title of their first album: Old Time Noise. (“Old” as in “circa 1905.”) Much of their early work included covers of songs with hymn-like qualities, particularly in the vocals, and they’ve extended this to their own original compositions. Their instrumentation is various combinations of acoustic guitar, violin, and mandolin. The style is unadorned and simple, but therein lies its power, as it acts as a base for their most prominent feature: the vocals.

The sisters sing in well-matched soprano (Abigail) and alto (Maggie), and every song is marvelously harmonized and skyward-reaching. And with this framework, the sisters conjure images of haunting clarity. They sing of a relationship gone on too long as a trip down a “lost highway lined with fire.” They sing of attempted rape and murder. They do covers of CCR’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain?” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” that match the forcefulness of the originals. On the latter, which they used for their closer, Abigail plays a mandolin line that rings like a sitar, while those harmonized vocals give ever more creepy heft to the chorus: “Pale shadow of a woman / black widow / Pale shadow of a dragon / dust woman.” And just when you’ve been lulled by that siren song and think it’s over, they let loose with an outburst of ferocity on those instruments that leaves your head spinning.

It’s this understated darkness lurking at the edges of the sisters’ work that lends it some of its greatest value. The temptation here might have been to use their lush voices to make everything goopy sickly sweet, all bright and glistening surfaces–there’s a lot of music in this style that does just that, all glitter and no substance–but they don’t take the bait. There’s plenty of sunshine on display, but they manage to work in menace, fear, regret, and doubt amidst the light, and it’s a fuller, more honest, more human range of emotions. And that’s what makes them so luminous. - The Pittsburg Appeal


"Enchanting. Captivating. Delightful. The Vogts Sisters first original album, My Own Dixie is all of those things; an album blending Folk, Americana and Bluegrass into something graceful and pristine, filled with harmonies and instrumentation that are absolutely gorgeous." - The Daily Country


"At just 24 and 18 years old, you’d be forgiven for assuming that the Vogts Sisters are rookies to the music industry, or pop country divas just looking to become stars. However, the Kansas natives have not only been winning numerous contests and playing around their home state for years, they also grew up on the old-time cowboy ballads and a mix of bluegrass, folk and Americana, providing their music a maturity rarely found in women of their age." - For the Country Record


"It is Saturday morning and I am awash in the beauty of musical DNA, that of The Vogts Sisters to be exact (You pronounce that Votes, sports fans). Listening to their new album My Own Dixie has reawakened my interest in writing a piece on DNA and music. There is something magical about familial voices, is there not?" - No Depression


"The Vogts Sisters who are actually sisters recently released an exceptional album entitled My Own Dixie. Maggie Vogts (acoustic guitar, fiddle, harmony vocals) and Abigail Vogts (acoustic guitar, mandolin, main vocals) have a surplus of talent that is immediately recognizable amongst the Americana/folk/country songs they play. The album is perfectly engineered which only adds to the warm, comforting tones that emanate from My Own Dixie." - The Even Ground


"From their humble beginnings playing music in the backyard at family gatherings to award winning performances at various town festivals and theatres in and around Kansas, the Vogts Sisters have come a long way. Their latest album, My Own Dixie, showcases entirely original material for the first time. Beautiful, folksy bluegrass plays over haunting vocals and harmonizing mature lyrics. Utilizing more instruments and guest talent this time around, one is provided with a rich listening experience that stays with you and proves they have what it takes to keep ol’ timey music alive and well." - Red Dirt Nation


Sweet and classy, Old Time Noise by The Vogts Sisters, is the kind of music the whole family can enjoy. With its down-home feel, beautiful harmonies and just a touch of sass...it's the kind of music that's as timeless as the sound from the mountain hollows, with a freshness that draws you in for more. - Amazon Review by Joanne Bischof


Creative album cover, great "old-timey" song selections, and lovely voices. Maggie and Abbey are both very talented - certainly musical artists to watch if you're a bluegrass fan! I love the sweetness and heart of the whole album. Current song favorites: "One More Dollar," "Lila Jean," "Acony Bell," and "Tear My Stillhouse Down." - Review by Amber Stokes - Seasons of Humility


At a time when many young performers are rocking out, the Vogts sisters of Erie are making sweet music together.

“We call it folk, but we’re not sure what it is, borderline bluegrass, maybe,” said Maggie Vogts, a Pittsburg State University senior.

Their debut album, “Old Time Noise,” will be featured in a CD launch party from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Horizons at Prairie Ridge Golf Course, Erie. A suggested $10 donation will include appetizers and acoustic entertainment. Anyone wishing information about the event may call 620-244-3454.

“Most of the songs on the CD are covers of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings,” Vogts said. “Three of them are originals."

When she was 11 and sister Abbey was 4, they and older sister Samantha were members of a community singing group called Saving Grace. After being part of the group for five years, they ended their time together with a recording of an inspirational CD, “More Than a Song."

“This summer Abbey and I started singing together,” Vogts said. “We went to Katy Days at Parsons and didn’t place in the competition.”

However, Russell Head of the Labette Community College recording arts department approached the sisters about doing a CD.

“That was at the end of May and we started recording in mid-June,” Vogts said.

Her little sister, Abbey, is an Erie High School sophomore. She plays guitar and is learning mandolin and fiddle.

She admits to having a little stage fright.

“My hands get really cold and clammy before we go on,” she said.

However, that doesn’t seem to affect her performance.

The Vogts Sisters won first place in the folk ensemble competition at the 2012 Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championship in Lawrence and were invited to perform at the Kids Acoustic Stage at the 2012 Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield.

They were featured at the annual Early Detection Works breast cancer vigil at Pittsburg State University Lake.

“We’re going to open for a Christmas concert in December for Jimmy Fortune, who was part of the Statler Brothers,” Abbey Vogts said.

The two, daughters of Deborah and Chris Vogts, aren’t sure yet of their career paths.

Maggie is a communications major at PSU with an emphasis in broadcasting, but isn’t sure what she’ll do with that.

Abbey isn’t going to worry about becoming a star.

“I don’t think it’s wise to think that in years to come we’re going to be in Nashville,” she said. “It’s in God’s hands, not ours.” - Pittsburg Morning Sun


The 2012 Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championship Folk Ensemble winners,
sisters Maggie Vogts and Abbey Vogts , will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday
at the Parsons Municipal Auditorium during "An Evening of Traditional Bluegrass Music.".

ERIE - Neither Maggie Vogts nor her sister Abigail Vogts , both of Erie, imagined a year ago that doing what they enjoy the most - making music together - would soon land them on a stage performing before large audiences.

Nor did they believe for a moment their playful harmonizing would gain them area notoriety following their being named the 2012 Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championship Folk Ensemble winners in Lawrence this summer or garnering them a personal invitation to appear in the Acoustic Kids Showcase at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield.

Before May of this year, life was simple. Time was spent going to school, and church, helping on the family farm, caring for the horses, Zoey the dog, and Cat the cat, and playing guitar and singing inspirational music.

"Abbey had taken up the guitar and then I started to play. Pretty soon we were practicing songs and would play them for each other, and then we'd just start singing together," Maggie explained. "It was kind of gradual."

While being naturally inclined to sing, the same was not true of Abbey playing the guitar.

At their mother's insistence, the girls had taken piano lessons from her while growing up. Admittedly, Abbey said, she had no desire to learn piano, much less guitar. "But someone else thought I should. I got it for Christmas one year about three years ago. There was this big package leaning against the wall. Because of the size and shape of it, I thought, 'Ahhh. A.22,' because Daddy and I had been talking about rifles. On Christmas morning when I opened it up and found a guitar, I tried to act pleasantly surprised. I was really kind of disappointed," Abbey said. "It's funny how the present I was most disappointed in turned into one of my favorites and one I've used the most."

Having a pastor who played guitar quite a bit, and who was willing to give Abbey lessons, Mrs. Vogts said she and her husband saw their chance.

Maggie soon followed her little sister in getting a guitar and taking lessons.

"I still don't really want to learn that much. I don't know that much about the guitar, just the bare minimum to get me by. I learned how to play all the basic guitar chords, so I can play about anything. The piano lessons really helped with that," Abbey said.

Oftentimes, the two girls would find time to practice their guitar together and sing, whenever Maggie was home from college and Abbey was not in school. When their mother Deborah walked in on them one day about a year ago, she was pleasantly surprised hearing her daughters' voices together singing American folk music.

The girls had joined their mom at an event in the Flint Hills a couple of years ago and seemed to hear bluegrass music for the first time, despite greatuncles, grandmas and parents having listened to it for years.

"When I was young, I thought it was boring and I didn't like it," Abbey said. "When I heard it there, it kind of shocked me. I thought, 'Oh my goodness, this is amazing.'" Mrs. Vogts approached her daughters about practicing and then entering the talent competition for Katy Days on Memorial Day weekend.

"We thought, 'Oh mom, you're just biased.' It was nice of her, but she's our mom and she is supposed to say those things," Maggie said.

The girls did not place, but then Abbey said they did not really expect to place.

"They had these rules and regulations and one of them was about how long a song could be. Maggie and I just blew it off the second time because we didn't want to shorten a good song," Abbey said. "So we were penalized points."

Katy Days was just the beginning, though. Katy Days triggered the attention of Russ Head, commercial music director at Labette Community College.

"He approached us and said, 'You guys should have a CD,'" Mrs. Vogts said. "I was just thinking, 'I wonder how much this will cost us,' but he said he just wanted to take them on as a personal project.' All this summer they've been recording," Mrs. Vogts said.

Also all summer, the girls traveled from one festival to another, performing where they could, and listening to other singers and musicians play bluegrass music, eventually entering the competition in Lawrence and landing first place at the state event.

"It was kind of shocking," Maggie said, admitting maybe her mom wasn't just biased. "It's a good feeling."

"Old Time Noise," their debut album set to release later this fall, offers a mix of old-timey ballads with a few original songs by Maggie that blend a depth of heartfelt emotion with honest compelling lyrics.

Until then, the girls are being interviewed on radio stations that are playing rough cuts of their music and Mrs. Vogts said she is fielding offer - Parsons Sun


Discography

Broken Ties (May 2018) gravitates toward different shades and angles of loss while exploring the range and dynamics of the Vogts Sisters’ maturing harmonies and instrumentation on mandolin, fiddle, and guitar. Their growing mastery of songwriting continues in this fourth collection of original music with award-winning title, In the Valley, which placed in the 2017 NewSong Competition at the Walnut Valley Festival.

"What if I told you that some of the best mountain music you'll hear this year is coming from Kansas? I supposed the music of the Vogts Sisters is not technically mountain music, though there is something about it that makes me think West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky. Welcome to the world of vocal bluegrass. Broken Ties is more than the voices. It is the light touch on the instrument, the phrasing, the lyrics, and the songwriting.” Frank Gutch, Jr. reviewer for Indiemusicology
Homeward
(June
2016) is a humble attempt to truly define who the Vogts Sisters are as artists
and musicians. Staying faithful to their love for sad songs,
Homeward, calls on their pure and
graceful harmonies that reach deep into the heart and soul with themes of love,
truth, and honor. This first self-produced album compiles ten original works,
including award-winning songs, Remain and Wayward Heart, fully embracing the
Vogts Sisters distinct style and inspiring growth as acoustic folk artists.

My Own Dixie (March 2015) showcases ten original songs, including award-winning title Ballad of a Love Miscast, a 2014 Indie-International Songwriting Competition folk-division winner. Wrong, another album tune, was selected and performed for the NewSong Showcase at the 2014 Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS. 

The lyrical maturity and growth on this album shows heart and depth in the sisters' approach to harmony. Accompanying the girls on fiddle, mandolin, and bass are the EICHER FAMILY (Shelby, Isaac, and Nathan), professional musicians from Oklahoma, who round out this album to near perfection, bestowing the Vogts Sisters with wings to fly. 

"The vocal harmonies between the sisters are fantastic time and time again. Each sister has a good voice when singing solo but magic happens when they combine which they luckily do quite often." - Ted Rogen, The Equal Ground, Review

"There are ten originals here and you get more in these ten than you do in many albums worth of the so-called hits and even the top charters on the Americana charts. Mostly light and flowing, the songs wash over rather than accost you. Much of it, of course, can be attributed to those angelic voices, but the songs themselves are a step above the norm." - Frank Gutch, Jr - No Depression, Review.

"Each [of the songs] were written by Maggie, who remains the lead songwriter of the duo, but the magic wouldn’t be there were it not for younger sister Abigail’s contributions. Those sisterly harmonies are sublime, pure and earthy..." - Vickye - For the Country Record, Review.

"Enchanting. Captivating. Delightful. The Vogts Sisters first original album, My Own Dixie is all of those things; an album blending Folk, Americana and Bluegrass into something graceful and pristine, filled with harmonies and instrumentation that are absolutely gorgeous." - Tara - The Daily Country, Review

Old Time Noise (2012 debut album) offers a vulnerable, sincere approach to old-timey Folk and Americana with three original songs, blending a depth of heartfelt emotion with rich harmonies and honest compelling lyrics you won't soon forget.

Photos

Bio

Touring the Midwest since May 2012, the Vogts Sisters touch the hearts of audiences everywhere they go. The young musicians have gained widespread recognition for their haunting vocals and tight sisterly harmonies, taking their music wherever they can to include stages at festivals, auditoriums, theaters, and more than a few coffee houses.

The Vogts Sisters have garnered numerous awards in regional and international songwriting competitions, including their latest win at the 2017 Walnut Valley Festival’s New Song Showcase. With over thirty original songs that fit seamlessly into their acoustic Americana-Folk act, the girls blend timeless music with sweet sister harmony. A few of their musical influences include Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, and Gillian Welch, but they often surprise audiences with covers from Johnny Horton, U2, or Fleetwood Mac. 


Broken Ties, their fourth album, will release May 2018, highlighting ten original songs,which explore the range and dynamics of the Vogts Sisters maturing harmonies and instrumentation on mandolin, fiddle, and guitar. Other album titles include Homeward(2016), My Own Dixie (2015), and Old Time Noise (2012). 

Maggie (age 27) plays the fiddle and guitar and graduated college in December 2013, while Abigail (age 21) plays the mandolin and guitar and attends Pittsburg State University. They make their home in rural Erie, Kansas. Praised for their graceful, authentic, yet vulnerable performances where one hears the real deal, the Vogts Sisters remain humble, possessing a highly developed sense of who they are and what they represent.

Band Members