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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






Light of Day's Main Event To Be Broadcast Live at McLoone's Supper Club
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- If you couldn't get tickets for the fabled "main event" of the 2019 Light of Day Winterfest, you have another chance see the show.  For the first time in the 19-year history of the festival, the "main event", the star-studded “Bob’s Birthday Bash” on January 19th (a show that has long sold out), will be broadcast live via fiber optic cable at McLoone's Supper Club in Asbury Park.
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts To Hold Winter Open House On January 27
(BERKELEY HEIGHTS) -- Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) will host a Winter Open House on Sunday, January 27 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The free event is open to the public and will be held at the Performing Arts School (PAS) located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights.
Billy Idol and Steve Stevens To Perform At Count Basie Center For The Arts
(RED BANK, NJ) -- Billy Idol and Steve Stevens, one of rock’s most iconic and enduring duos, will hit the road this March for their first ever tour performing as a duo: Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged. The Billy Idol/Steve Stevens tour comes to The Count Basie Center for the Arts on Thursday, April 4th.
McDonald's Gospelfest To Celebrate The Life of Aretha Franklin With Return to Prudential Center
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The 37th Annual McDonald’s Gospelfest returns to the Prudential Center on Saturday, May 11 for the gospel event of the year. This year's event will honor and celebrate the life and legacy of the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin with an All-Star cast. The 5:00pm to 7:00pm portion of the evening will feature a rising stars competition for all ages and cultures in categories including Soloists, Choirs, Praise Dancers, Singing Groups, Gospel Comedians, Gospel Poets and Gospel Rappers. The gospel concert, beginning at 7:00pm, will feature some of the most renowned gospel artists in music history with the goal of spreading love, peace and joy to all races, nationalities and beliefs.
Bickford Theatre Presents Herb Gardner's Groundhog Jam
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- The great Groundhog Jam has a long history of prying jazz fans out of their warm burrows and into the chill of February weather in order to welcome the advent of spring.  The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum continues a tradition of hosting this event on Monday, February 4 at 7:30pm. Herb Gardner, who plays both trombone and piano, is assembling a stellar group of musicians from the New York, New Jersey, and New England areas including: Fred Vigorito on cornet, Joe Licari on clarinet, James Chirilloon guitar, Mike Weatherly on bass and Robbie Scott on drums.  Daughters Abbie and Sarah Gardner will be handling the vocals and guitar.


Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes At Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme
This coming Sunday, January 20, Scott Wolfson and his band will be serving up their unique blend of Americana at the Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme series at Investors Bank Theater in Succasunna, New Jersey. The band – Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes – formed in Jersey City in 2011, and, even though the members have migrated in various directions since then, they still consider themselves to be a Jersey City band.
"He Totally Wowed Us!" John Oates LIVE! at SOPAC
It’s brisk for an evening walk on South Orange Ave. in South Orange, NJ, this Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 evening, but it’s a good road to follow as it leads us directly to the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) for a special performance by singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Oates and his backup group, The Good Road Band.
“Tons of Fun!” The Glenn Miller Orchestra LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Although Friday, December 21, 2018 is the shortest day of the year, the audience of big band music lovers here at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts is hoping for a long evening of classic swing and holiday tunes performed by the incomparable Glenn Miller Orchestra!
Mike Davis and The New Wonders
Mike Davis traces his love for the trumpet back to a Disney movie. He grew up in a musical family, with both his parents playing strings in the Seattle Symphony. But Davis wanted an instrument of his own. Then, at age 9, he saw “The Aristocats,” the animated film about a bunch of French felines — including a group of jazz-playing alley cats.
Ana Gasteyer's "Holiday Tipple" LIVE! at the Grunin Center
The Grunin Center stage in Toms River, NJ is set this Saturday, December 15, 2018 with drums, a grand piano, a guitar, an acoustic bass, and various microphones for vocals. A stool and several microphone stands are bedazzled with colorful garlands of shiny red, gold, and green, and wrapped gifts are strewn on stage among the instruments. Projected white snowflakes adorn the walls, and Christmas music plays as patrons enter the theater to put everyone in the mood for tonight’s holiday show — Ana Gastayer’s Holiday Tipple!










Event calendar
Thursday, Jan 17, 2019


MUSIC


Open Mic Night! @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 7:30pm


THEATRE

"Apple Season" by E.M. Lewis @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm


KIDS

AMERICAN GIRL LIVE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

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