Sweetback Sisters Close Out Summer Concert Series

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As summer winds down, so does the free Summer Concert Series at Stuart's Opera House in Nelsonville. The final show is Thursday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. and features the Brooklyn, N.Y. based retro-country ensemble, the Sweetback Sisters. 

Zara Bode and Emily Miller are a pseudo-sister, matching-skirt, close-harmony duo, influenced by the great sibling and family country singing groups of the 1930s-60s (with a splash of Bob Wills and an extra-heavy dose of the legendary Davis Sisters). They front a top notch, virtuosic outfit that showcases original songs as well as the best honky-tonk, western swing, classic country and old time repertoire from the golden era of American roots music.

The self-penned songs comfortably juxtaposition themselves next to standards by Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Wanda Jackson, Hazel Dickens, the Sons of the Pioneers and relatively newer artists like Dwight Yoakam and the Traveling Wilburys. Although the band has the utmost love and respect for the vintage material, they are are not afraid to stretch out and bring in their assorted influences.

The humor and playfulness in their onstage performances is a real part of the tradition without ever descending into parody or schtick. Their stage show is not a class in traditional country musicology, although one would be hard pressed to find a more authentic sounding country band. 

"We're a renegade retro band that mixes country swing and honky tonk," said Bode. "Sometimes what we deliver is straight out of the '50s; other times, it's BR549 meets the B-52's."

The concert takes place at 7 p.m. in the Stuart's Opera House parking lot, just off the Public Square. A special cookout will be held at 6 p.m. Visit www.stuartsoperahouse.org for more information.