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The Pierces

By Gary Wien

Imagine if Simon and Garfunkle were a couple of really hot, young, talented women with Southern accents that melted you every time they opened their mouth...

Well, get ready to meet The Pierces.

The Pierces are a pair of sisters (Alison and Catherine) from Alabama who currently live in New York City. Whether you like folk music or not, chances are their harmonies will seduce you like the Sirens faced by Odysseus.

After several delays, their second record is finally being released this January. If their name doesn't ring a bell with you chances are it's because the first record didn't get much support at all. In fact, they fell victim to a story heard zillions of times by musicians around the world.

"The guy that signed us left the company right before our record came out," explained Catherine. "So, we were just sort of shuffled along. It happens so often. Labels will just sign bands just in case something's going to happen. Sometimes they'll be a couple of labels interested in you, so they get greedy and want to keep you just in case. But they don't really love your music."

Her sister disagreed with her a little. "I think in this case, they really did love us and love our music," said Allison. "They just didn't know what to do with us. It was in 2000, Britney Spears was huge, the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC - all that stuff was massive and we made an Americana record."

Although they regularly perform as a duo, the records were both recorded with a full band and full production behind them. The Pierces will also begin touring with a full band on select dates this month.

The level of production behind each song was a constant battle during the recording of Light of The Moon, their upcoming release. The sisters explained the difficulties faced in the studio.

"The guy we worked with had a vision," explained Allison. "He was like 'it's got to be this way'. He had very specific ideas. The record may be a little bigger than we wanted it to be."

"We fought with him a lot," added Catherine. "But I think he may have won."

"He definitely won," agreed Allison.

"I love the record for what it is, but I think, in the future, the records will definitely be more stripped down like our live show," said Catherine.

The Pierces are having a record release party at the Saint in Asbury Park on January 25th and one with a full band at The Living Room in New York City on the next night. Asbury Park has been one of the places to take to the Pierces early on. In addition to several shows at the Saint (including residences in December and January), they were the first duo to perform during the Writers In The Raw series and they took part in the Light of Day show at the Stone Pony.

"It's so important to get responses from people," said Catherine. "It's disheartening if you play one club after another and nobody's there. That's kill you."

Outside of this area, The Pierces made many new friends in the South in the last couple of months as they played a string of successful shows, including the Austin City Limits Festival where they sang to a crowd of 75,000 people. Their performance was broadcast and streamed live on Yahoo. The broadcast received 90,000 hits over the weekend.

The sisters are not scared of playing anywhere and they come from a very artistic family. Their father is a musician and their mother is a painter. They grew up in Birmingham in a very loose and free setting. Both were home schooled, which allowed them more time to pursue ballet and music. And both danced professionally for several years. When they got tired of dancing around the country, they decided to pursue their dream of music together.

Catherine believes that being sisters makes going after the dream a little easier. "We fight like sisters, but we can be completely honest with each other. Maybe if she was just my friend and I was in a band with her I'd be like, 'yeah, that song's great' and I wouldn't really like it. But we can be totally honest and open with each other. I mean, we've known each other all of our lives."

The pair have already seen a glimpse of how difficult it can be to be successful in the music industry with the shelving of their first record; yet, they approached this new record with high spirits and confidence as well as a healthy dose of reality.

"I think that you always hope that you can support yourself and do what you love," said Allison. "It would be amazing if we sold millions of records and became huge or whatever, but as long as we can just keep doing what we love that'll work for me."

Catch the Pierces live this month:

Jan. 12 The Living Room, NYC
Jan. 18 - The Saint, Asbury Park
Jan. 25 - The Saint, Asbury Park
Jan. 26 - The Living Room, NYC

For more by this author, click here

State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze on Friday, December 7 at 8:00pm, Saturday, December 8 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday, December 9 at 2:00pm. Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a division of Cirque du Soleil, has become a critically acclaimed, state-of-the-art Broadway musical, and a fun-filled, holiday family show. Tickets range from $35-$98.
NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, 'Music Speaks'
(NEWARK, NJ) -- A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.
RVCC Chorale to Perform Annual Holiday Concert on December 8th
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) --The RVCC Chorale will give its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00pm in the Welpe Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s Branchburg campus. The program will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata, Das Neugeborne Kindelein, as well as a cappella pieces from by Sergei Rachmaninov, Zoltan Kodaly and Giuseppe Verdi. The program also will include an audience singalong of traditional carols.
Classic Stones Live! The Complete Rolling Stones Tribute Show Comes To SOPAC
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Rolling Stones, the greatest Blues band of all time, couldn’t make it to SOPAC on their 2018 tour. Instead, the acclaimed tribute band Classic Stones Live! makes an appearance on the SOPAC stage December 15 at 8:00pm for those who like to hear their Rolling Stones hits live.
Tony Trischka Presents "Of a Winter's Night" at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Of a Winter’s Night is Tony Trischka's acoustic celebration of the holiday season. Based on his CD release of the same name, this concert features Trischka’s considerable melodic inventiveness on a wide variety of seasonal tunes. He turns his inventiveness loose on bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays. This one of a kind concert will take place at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30pm.

"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.
Sha Na Na LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
The audience is streaming into the Newton Theatre auditorium in Newton, NJ this Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 for a live concert starring Sha Na Na!

Event calendar
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018


New Politics @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE REPUTATIONS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

TOTO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

ANNIE, The Musical @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 7:30pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm


PARSONS DANCE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


Crybaby Matinee: March of the Penguins @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

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