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Po' Girl


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Neo-traditional and contemporary folk mixed with blues, jazz, and country

Status:

Most recent release, Follow Your Bliss (2010)

See also:

Po' Girl's facebook page

Wikipedia's entry on Po' Girl

Ectophile's Guide entry for The Be Good Tanyas, Trish Klein's other band

MySpace page for Sofia, side project of Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira

Allison Russell is in the duo Birds of Chicago.

Covers/own material:

Own, some covers

General comments:

A bit of blues, a lot of folk, and a soulful delivery. Po' Girl makes songs that are at once old-fashioned and contemporary. Founding member Trish Klein is also a member of The Be Good Tanyas, and there's some commonality with their work. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Comments about live performance:

I don't think there is any limit to how many times I can see them these days. I'll see them at least twice more in 2007 too. They are a Be Good Tanyas offshoot, but I think they have a livelier sound and much cooler arrangements and vocals. (Neal)

I've seen them in concert at least 3 times, and their shows are never anything less than fantastic. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Recommended first album:

Po' Girl

Recordings:


Po' Girl

Release info:

2003—Hightone Records—HCD 8161

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Trish Klein—vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, harmonica (3)
Allison Russell—vocals, clarinet, pennywhistle, whistling

Guest artists:

Kenton Loewen—percussion
Roey Shemesh—acoustic stand-up bass
Frazey Ford (The Be Good Tanyas)—harmonies (8, 11)
Anna Lumière—Hammond, Rhodes, Wurlitzer (2, 8)
Les Mersa—chromatic harmonica (1, 9)
CR Avery—beatboxing, harmonica (4)
Marc L'Espérance—harmonies (11)
Jesse Zubot—fiddle (5)

Produced by:

Po' Girl with Marc L'Espérance

Comments:

Probably the most "urban"-sounding of their albums and still my favorite, right down to the hidden cover of "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans." (JoAnn Whetsell)

Vagabond Lullabies

Release info:

2004—Nettwerk—0 6700 30386 2 1

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Diona Davies—vocals (7); harmonies (3, 4, 13); fiddle; banjo (1, 13); acoustic guitar (7, 10)
Trish Klein—vocals (2, 4, 6, 8, 12); harmonies (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 13); acoustic guitar (4, 6, 8, 9, 11-13); electric guitar (2,7); slide guitar (1); banjo (3, 5, 10); harmonica (1, 8, 10)
Allison Russell—vocals (1, 3, 5, 9-11, 13); harmonies (2, 4, 6-8, 12); acoustic guitar (1, 3, 5); clarinet, pennywhistle

Guest artists:

Shelley Okepnac—drums
Roey Shemesh—upright bass
CR Avery—spoken word (4, 10); beatboxing (4); harmonica (6)
Chris Brown—Hammond (4, 8); piano (9)
Kate Fenner—harmonies (3, 13)
Frazey Ford (The Be Good Tanyas)—harmonies (2, 6, 8, 13)
Aaron Joyce—lap steel (1)
Anna Lumière—Hammond (2, 12, 13); Wurlitzer (6) Carolyn Mark—harmonies (3)
Sam Parton (The Be Good Tanyas)—harmonies (5); uke (3)
John Raham—drums (4, 8, 10)
Rae Spoon—harmonies (3)
Luther Wright—harmonies (3)
Tony Scherr—slide guitar (13)
Ani DiFranco—harmonies (13)

Produced by:

Po' Girl with John Raham

Comments:

Vagabond Lullabies is a laidback collection of songs, mostly stories about people who are lost or missing something. That may sound like a recipe for melancholy, but it's really not, though the album overall is more down-tempo than their debut. Some of the most beautiful moments on the album are the harmonies on the slower, sadder songs. The band moves seamlessly from city to country and back in both settings and sounds. I love the way they can transition so smoothly from the joyful, toe-tapping sing-along energy of "Movin' On" to the wistfulness of "Backstairs Down," the sadness of "Prairie Girl Gone," and the deceptively upbeat "Walk On and Sing." I'm not generally a fan of spoken word, but I think CR Avery's vocals contribute well to the atmosphere of "Take the Long Way," giving it an urban feel and helping to build the climax.
     The sound is quite natural, almost as if they were having a casual get-together on a back porch instead of recording in a studio. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Home to You

Release info:

2007—Nettwerk—30606 2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Allison Russell—vocals, clarinet, acoustic guitar (11), banjo (5, 8)
Trish Klein—vocals, electric guitar, banjo, acoustic guitar (1, 3, 9, 12)
Diona Davies—vocals, violin, Wurlitzer (3, 7), acoustic guitar (7, 13)
Awna Teixeira—vocals, electric bass, wash-tub bass, acoustic guitar (2, 5, 10), harmonica

Guest artists:

John Raham—drums, percussion
Chris Brown—Hammond organ, farfisa, Wurlitzer
Kate Fenner—harmony vocals (3)
CR Avery—vocals (9), harp (9)
Shaun Brodie—trumpet (8)
Dave Spidel—bass (2)

Produced by:

Po' Girl and John Raham; tracks 3 and 7 co-produced by Chris Brown

Comments:

On their third album, the group is now a quartet, but still making their unique blend of bluesy urban folk. In some ways the album is more laidback and more subtle than their previous ones, and in other ways it comes closest to capturing the energy of their live performances. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Deer in the Night

Release info:

2009—Po' Girl Music—PG004

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Allison Russell—voice, guitar, banjo, clarinet, flat footing, foot stomps and hand claps
Awna Teixeira—voice, guitar, banjo, accordion, electric bass, gutbucket bass, harmonica, glockenspiel, Wurlitzer, bicycle bell, foot stomps and hand claps

Guest artists:

Benny Sidelinger—guitar, banjo, dobro, electric bass, Wurlitzer, bicycle bell, foot stomps and hand claps
Bukka Allen—accordion, harmonium
Mikey "Lightning" August—drums, percussion, drum arrangements
Austin Cooper—drums, percussion, bicycle bell
Michael Jerome—drums, percussion, cajon, drum arrangements
Drew Lindsay—piano, Wurlitzer, clavinet, glockenspiel
Jeremy Lindsay—harmony vocals
Chris Neal—Hammond B3, Wurlitzer, percussion, cajita, harmony vocals
Brian Standefer—cello

Produced by:

Po' Girl with Screendoor (Brian Standefer, Bukka Allen, and Robbie Gjersoe), JT and the Clouds, and Michael Jerome

Comments:

A truly excellent album and probably their most consistent effort to date. This album dials down the urban influences and is more thoroughly folk, but there are a couple of tracks that venture outside that zone—the Eastern European-influenced "Gandy Dancer," the bluesy "Things We Believe In," and the gospel "No Shame." Also a lovely cover of Julie Miller's "All My Tears" as a bonus track. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2017-06-09 12:34:34.
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