Though a country band whose birthplace is more centered on glass and steel than tress and grass may be unconventional, that is exactly the case for The Sweetback Sisters.
Wednesday, ARTS/West, 132 W. State St., presents The Sweetback Sisters, a six-member country and rockabilly band.
Singers Zara Bode and Emily Miller created the group — made up of Bode, Miller and musicians Jesse Milnes, Ross Bellenoit, Stefan Amidon and Peter Bitnec — in Brooklyn in 2006.
The group describes themselves as “retro band that combines country, swing and honky-tonk” on their website. Bode said the city roots of the band adds to their flavor.
“Sure it's not the motherland of country music, but we're talking about New York City, a cultural hot bed of the world,” Bode said. “In the city you can find every kind of person and every genre of music under the sun. Every night you can find a country jam somewhere.”
Despite their name, none of the group’s members are related and four out of the six members are male, though those facts are not important, said the band’s publicist Flora Reed.
“No one is related, but the band is inspired by family bands of the musical past where it wasn't necessarily about blood,” Reed said. “If you could play an instrument, you were given a rhinestone shirt and considered a part of the group.”
The sextet is visiting ARTS/West as part of its eight-month tour for its new album ”Looking For a Fight,” which includes originals by various members of the band dispersed with some classic and wild card country tunes, Reed said.
The variation in the group’s songs is one of the reasons ARTS/West has brought them to Athens, said Ashley Johnson, events coordinator for ARTS/West.
"Quite simply, The Sweetback Sisters are fun,” said Johnson. “They’re fun to listen to and they’re certainly going to be fun to see live in Athens.“
Though the gas prices and “road cuisine” are not always glamorous, Bode said that the group loves being on tour.
“Performing is definitely our cup of tea,” Bode said. “Sure it's tough; sometimes you've got a couple rows filled, other times a packed house, but we always give 100 percent night after night. It may sound a bit cliché, but we live for that connection with our audiences.”