The Whiskey Sisters
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The Whiskey Sisters

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States
Band Americana Rock

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THE WHISKEY SISTERS
These Austin-based “sisters” are Teal Collins and Barbara Nesbitt, and they both play great acoustic guitar on these gorgeous, harmony-drenched country rockers. The guitar story here, however, truly comes in the form of Mr. Josh Zee, who plays electric on the album. For some reason this guy is still the best-kept secret in the blues-based country-fried universe, with his spot-on bends, perfect sense of the pocket, badass picking technique, and awesome sense of humor. I’m always wrong about these things, but “Talk It Out” sure sounds like a hit to me. I’m definitely right about this, though: The guitar solo to that tune is freaking perfect! Great record, and highly recommended. World Records. - GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE


By Michael Corcoran
Special to the American-Statesman
Halfway through the first chorus. That’s how long it took Teal Collins and Barbara Nesbitt to realize that their voices blended beautifully. The first song the Whiskey Sisters tried together was a Jerry Garcia number, appropriate because Collins is originally from San Francisco and Nesbitt, who grew up in Georgia, began her singing career in jam bands.
“We have the same kind of vibrato,” says Collins, a natural belter whose other band, Mother Truckers, is on an indefinite hiatus. “I was looking around and realized that there weren’t any rock bands that I know of who have two badass chick singers. So why not?”
Collins and Nesbitt played their first set as the Whiskey Sisters less than a year ago, at South by Southwest 2012, when they were wedged into a day party lineup at Maria’s Taco X-press. Eleven months later they have a self-titled album that introduces them to the world as a band that takes sisterly harmonies to rock n’ roll in their own way. Although Collins and Nesbitt can really air it out vocally — hitting some notes that confound canines blocks away — this is no singing duo, but a rock band that can give you goosebumps.
With Collins’ husband, Josh Zee, on swashbuckling Fender guitar, the duo’s new, self-titled album is in that same roots rock pocket as the Truckers. But having two vocalists who sing their lipstick off gives “Whiskey Sisters” a new dimension. “We just clicked,” says Collins. “And we knew right away that in order to get to the next level, we had to have an album.” Collins and Nesbitt recorded the 12 co-written originals with their live band — Zee, Michael Davids on keyboards, Lonnie Trevino Jr. on bass and drummer Phil Bass — over a five-month period. They raised money to cover recording costs through fans with their “Whiskeystarter” campaign. “Since it wasn’t Kickstarter we could spend the money as it came in,” says Collins. Whenever they had enough for studio time, they’d book the Congress House or Summit Street studios.
Thursday, however, was when they took their music to the people. The Continental Club started the Whiskey Sisters off on Monday, but they passed the tryout and were soon moved to Thursday happy hour, the old Mother Truckers slot. It’s quite a romp each week, with the Sisters playing everything from ukulele torch songs to wall-shaking rockers.
Any other local act thinking about covering “Break It To Me Gently” by Brenda Lee needs to move onto something else. That one always gets a rousing ovation at the jam-packed W.S. residency. Even in the last light of the day, Collins and Nesbitt and their terrific band tear it up like midnight Saturday.
“I start looking forward to Thursday on Friday morning,” says Nesbitt. While Collins has been a mainstay on the local scene for more than a decade in Mother Truckers, Nesbitt is relatively new to these parts, moving here three years ago from San Diego. When the Padres third base coach Tim Flannery, whose musical side project featured Nesbitt on vocals, moved on to the Giants, Barbara took off for the live music capital.
“I had heard Teal sing and thought she was amazing.” says Nesbitt. After the pair hung out together one night, they made a date to sing and possibly write together, just to see what they might have. And that was it. Halfway through the first chorus. After two weeks of “intensive rehearsals,” the Whiskey Sisters were ready to gig.
“It’s been a long year, but it’s been a great year,” says Collins, whose work ethic, Nesbitt says, is an inspiration. “And now we’ve got this record that we couldn’t be prouder of.” True to their name, the band members each down a shot of whiskey in the middle of their sets. And now they have something really special to toast.
The Whiskey Sisters celebrate the release of their debut album at 10 p.m. Friday at the Continental Club (www.continentalclub.com).
- AUSTIN 360


The self-titled disc finds the entire endeavor living up to Best New Band. Collins commanded such force in the Mother Truckers that The Whiskey Sisters sounds like a natural sonic extension as doubled exponentially by Nesbitt. That's especially true with the addition of Zee's slide guitar work on "Wait a Lifetime" and his rampage riffing on "The Whiskey Song." Among the album's dozen songs, "Home on the Highway" best embodies what the band can to do: hellacious vocal harmonies, Zee's strutting six-string, and Davis' piano plinking á la Leon Russell in all the right spots. It's Southern rock with a decidedly feminine twist, more Heart than Skynyrd, but no less stirring. - Jim Caligiuri - THE AUSTIN CHRONICE


The self-titled disc finds the entire endeavor living up to Best New Band. Collins commanded such force in the Mother Truckers that The Whiskey Sisters sounds like a natural sonic extension as doubled exponentially by Nesbitt. That's especially true with the addition of Zee's slide guitar work on "Wait a Lifetime" and his rampage riffing on "The Whiskey Song." Among the album's dozen songs, "Home on the Highway" best embodies what the band can to do: hellacious vocal harmonies, Zee's strutting six-string, and Davis' piano plinking á la Leon Russell in all the right spots. It's Southern rock with a decidedly feminine twist, more Heart than Skynyrd, but no less stirring. - Jim Caligiuri - THE AUSTIN CHRONICE


Discography

THE WHISKEY SISTERS-

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Bio

Teal Collins (The Mother Truckers) and Barbara Nesbitt (Tim Flannery & The Lunatic Fringe) met at a mutual friends gig in Austin and decided to get together to sing a song or two. By the time they reached the first chorus they knew there was magic in the room. They wrote songs, added members to make it a 6-piece band, and in one year played their first show, and released their debut album.

The band was offered a coveted residency at the famed Continental Club in Austin, and they have been rocking it ever since.

The Whiskey Sisters sound mixes melodic vocal harmonies, classic Rock and Roll guitar riffs, and a sing-a-long sense of celebration in each song!

Joined by Austin veteran musicians, Josh Zee on Guitar (The Mother Truckers), Lonnie Trevino, Jr. on Bass (The SAMoonlighters), Phil Bass on Drums (Monte Montgomery), and Michael Davids on Keyboards (Cari Hutson), they are going to take Texas and the world by storm!

Their self-titled debut album THE WHISKEY SISTERS was released February 19th 2013, Spring/Summer tours to follow!

Band Members