The Quebe Sister Band heads to York PA January 26th with a surprising new line-up

T_QuebeSistersThe Quebe Sisters Band will bring their refreshing blend of western swing, jazz, vintage country and three-part harmony vocals to Marketview Arts in York, PA on Sunday, January 26, 2014 for a Matinee Concert at 4:00 pm. The concert is sponsored by the Susquehanna Folk Music Society and will be recorded for broadcast on WITF-FM’s “Center Stage” radio program.

Marketview Arts is located at 37 W. Philadelphia Street in York, PA. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased at http://www.sfmsfolk.org or by calling 800-838-3006.

In 1998 the Quebes heard Texas style fiddling for the first time at a fiddle contest in Denton, Texas. At ages 7, 10 and 12 they started taking fiddle lessons from Joey and Sherry McKenzie. From the start, all three sisters demonstrated talent, determination and a love for the music. Soon afterwards, the girls began competing in fiddle contests and had success early on; winning regional, State and National championships.

The girls soon took their act on the road, accompanied by the driving rhythm of Joey McKenzie on guitar and Galvin Kelso on bass. Through the years they have played at the Grand Ole Opry, the Kennedy Center, NYC’s Lincoln Center, The Birchmere, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and the National Folk Festival. In addition, the QSB has appeared in concert with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Merle Haggard, Asleep at the Wheel, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Riders in the Sky, and Marty Stuart. They have also had the pleasure of playing with billionaire/ukulele enthusiast Warren Buffett and had the honor of performing for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

During a recent interview Grace Quebe talks about the group’s new CD, the marriage of the youngest Quebe sister, Hulda and the band’s surprising new line-up.

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FOLKMAMA: We’re really looking forward to your performance in York, PA! It seems like there are a lot of new things happening with the Quebe Sister Band. First off, I’m wondering if you can tell me some things about your new CD?

GRACE: We’ve just got our new CD back from the printer. (“Every Which-Away”, release date February 11th) It’s come within the last few days and we’re really excited about it! We’ve been working on this project for awhile. We recorded it in about two weeks or so. But it’s taken a long time to finish in between touring and trips in the summer. There are so many people who helped us with this project. We’ve had great engineers, and everyone who did the art work were great. It was produced by Joey McKenzie and mastered by him too. But we’re really happy with the quality.

FOLKMAMA: Is it very similar in style to your last CD, or have you made some changes?

GRACE: It’s very similar to our last CD “Timeless” because, up until this point, it featured our current band and it’s a lot of straight ahead Western Swing and jazz. It’s a really good representation of what we have been doing. All of the songs we are still playing and will continue to play because we have them on this album. So when people come out to a show they are going to be hearing quite a few songs on this record. It’s really an accurate representation of what we have been doing and the different styles that we have been playing.

FOLKMAMA: And will you have it available when you come to play in York?

GRACE: We sure will.

FOLKMAMA: You’ve recently made a line-up change that may be a big surprise to a lot of people. Tell me a little bit about the musicians that you will be bringing with you to York?

GRACE: Our guitar player Joey McKenzie and our bass player Galvin Kelso really provided a solid rhythm team, but we just decided it was time to to pursue some different avenues. Joey was definitely interested in doing some more teaching which was really hard for him to do with all the touring that we do. So we decided to go ahead and make a change which which allows him to do what he wanted to do.

We first met our new band mates Penny Lea and Katy Lou Clark (they’re twins) at the Grand Old Opry where they were working. We played there one night and we met them at a CD signing and we found out that they were from Texas and we told them to come on over if they were ever at home visiting family. So a few Christmases ago they dropped by to see us and we had so much fun and just got to be such great friends! So when they found out that we were going to be making these changes in our band that said that they’d like to help us out at least for 2014. And then we’ll see.

So Penny and Katy will be playing with our band and when they go to Nashville they play with their brother in a band called the Purple Hulls. They recently moved to Texas to be with their parents because their dad was sick and has since passed away. Maybe sometime they’ll move to Nashville, but for now they live in Texas.

FOLKMAMA: So how has working with Katy and Penny altered your sound?

GRACE: Well I think we’ve learned to adapt to the players. We actually now have a broader range of instruments to work with. Penny plays the mandolin and the guitar and Katy’s playing banjo and plays accordion and piano as well. This concert in York will be one of the first that we’ll play together as a band.

FOLKMAMA: And the twins are young too, like the three of you are?

GRACE: They are my age, 27. I’m the oldest. My sister Sophia is 26 and Hulda is 23.

FOLKMAMA: And I believe one of you is married.

GRACE: Yes, it’s my youngest sister Hulda. She got married this past year. She married a fiddle player.

FOLKMAMA: And has that changed the amount that you can tour?

GRACE: Actually no because Hulda’s husband is just finishing up school. I think he’s going to graduate this spring. So he’s working really hard to finish up school and he’s really busy They were dating all the while that we were touring for the past several years so they’re quite used to that schedule–traveling all all that.

FOLKMAMA: So you are all full time, on the road then. Do you also teach and do other things?

GRACE: You know I have taught in the past. I was helping out Sherry McKenzie, Joey’s wife who was teaching fiddle at some schools and we helped her out with that for several years–that’s when we were in high school. Then our band got so busy that and our schedule became so sporadic so that it was hard for us to have a weekly schedule at the school. So ever since then we’ve just been in the band.

FOLKMAMA: So what are your goals now as you and your sisters are getting older?

GRACE: Well. we just want to keep on playing. We’re having so much fun and we’re doing things that we didn’t really plan –but just naturally happened. We’re enjoying it, and if others are enjoying it that’s all the more reason to keep doing it too. We’re looking forward to 2014 to see what comes along!

To find out more about the Quebe Sisters Band visit http://www.quebesistersband.com. Information about Penny and Katy Clark can be found at http://thepurplehulls.com.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Claire
    Jul 14, 2014 @ 01:55:11

    Wow, has this group changed since having fired the guitar guy and the bass man. I mean, sorry, but would not have attended if I had known how they would sound without the former lineup. Am friends with a certain photographer (no names!) with reputation for truth who told me that that the guitar player had been their teacher and mentor. Went to their website later and found “Bandmates Joey McKenzie and Gavin Kelso will no longer be joining us on the road, as they pursue other ventures in 2014.” However, my friend in the know says they were fired. SAD!

    Reply

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