Three talented women with a local connection, “For the Birds” will be coming to Rossland next week and we’ve got a contest to help you go see them with a full belly. Anyone who “likes” the Rossland Telegraph’s Facebook page will be entered into random draw to win dinner for two at the Red Room Lounge and reserved front row seating for the concert to follow. More info is available at the bottom of the story.
Ironically, the band themselves, made up of talented and successful songstresses Aspen Switzer of Nelson and Genevieve Rainey and Elaine Ryan of Vancouver as well as occasional band mate Kim McMeckin (not joining them for the Rossland gig) met through participating in the contest to be an opening act on the reincarnated Lilith Fair last year.
“We didn’t know each other beforehand but we had been part of this contest and had done well in it,” explained Switzer. “We had all placed in the top six and we just started sending messages back and forth online and decided we should get together, book a small tour and see what that would be like.”
Not necessarily a band per say, the three women consider themselves a musical collective. Depending on gigs, the lineup may not be exactly the same and while they all perform their own songs they also collaborate with one another, fill out and build on each other’s songs. Ultimately, they hope to begin writing songs together as they tour BC and Alberta.
Their name “For the birds,” was also a collaborative project that has many different meanings to it, depending on how you interpret it.
“Elaine lives half time in Hawaii and we were booking the tour and we worked on Skype quite a bit,” recalled Switzer. “We would always hear birds singing on her line when it was the dead of winter here. We ran through a lot of band names and couldn’t come up with anything we all loved and Elaine said let’s call it “For the birds” and we all said “Yeah we like that.” Birds can be ladies and we’re all women. Also, I don’t know if they think of it this way, but I think about nature and the environment and wanting to be connected to that so that feels good--the idea of being a voice for the birds , for nature, the environment.”
Meeting each other for the first time on the Friday before their first gig, the three girls had an immediate musical connection. Playing together since then has raised all three (occasionally four) women’s chops as they grow together.
“I’ve improved myself immensely having played with the girls,” added Switzer. “We all have a passion for harmony singing so it’s been really incredible to work with three other singers who have a lot of skill in that area. We all come from a slightly different sort of background with it, so it’s really neat. I’ve learned a lot through being with three other songwriters who have been working so hard in their own way both in terms of pushing their careers but also musically. So coming together I feel like I learned through osmosis just by being in the same room together.”
Now fast friends, the girls' show is full of humour, banter and chats with the crowd between songs as they reach out and connect naturally through their outgoing personalities with their audiences and one another.
“Our shows always seem to have lots of funny stories,” continued Switzer. “We all talk about our songs and it’s usually very funny. Gea [Genevieve] is hilarious. People can expect beautiful three part harmonies from three very unique songwriters. We all have our own distinct styles when we come together it is really dynamic and has a lot of range.”
As the girls head out on tour together around BC and Alberta over the next several months there are already seeds of new songs and song ideas forming and early thoughts of potentially recording together at some stage. Their current favourite song to sing together is one of Geneveive Reilly’s songs called “Barrier Reef”.
“It’s a song she played at the contest and it’s so epic,” added Switzer. “It really builds and builds. It’s really fun.”
That song is one of three the girls have recorded at home as part of a three song demo. You can be one of the first to hear that recording as it's attached in this story. If you like what you hear, come out and see them live this Saturday, the 28th, at the Red Room Lounge.
CONTEST INFO: The Red Room Lounge and the Rossland Telegraph have teamed up to offer a delicious prize together. The winner will receive dinner for two from the Red Room Lounge before the show and a reserved front row table for the For the Birds concert. To be entered in the contest go to the Rossland Telegraph’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/rosslandtelegraph and click “Like” to become a fan of our page. The winner will be a random draw from all the people who “Like” the Rossland Telegraph’s Facebook page as of Tuesdaythe 24th at 4:00 PM. If you're already a 'liker' you're automatically entered!
Our Facebook page is a great way to stay up to date on stories to get the inside scoops as they happen. Don’t wait for the weekly newsletter. New content goes up on the site all the time and our Facebook Fans are the first to get access to it. www.facebook.com/rosslandtelegraph
LISTEN: Listen to For The Birds demo recording of Barrier Reef below