Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.
The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?
Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.
"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
Every artist should be the star of their own creative life, which makes Kyle Reid’s steps out of the shadows of the many ensembles and supporting roles he has played in Oklahoma bands over the years to front and center on stage feel like a just journey.
Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival featuring The Quebe Sisters Thursday-Saturday Cottonwood Flats Noble Avenue, Guthrie oibf.com 282-4446 Day pass $30-$40, three-day pass $80
Given that Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival aims on being a world-class festival, it only makes sense its acts come from all over the globe.
Besides The Gatlin Brothers as headliners, this year sees Fragment flying in from the Czech Republic, the Kruger Brothers making their way from Switzerland, and the Bluegrass Boogiemen taking a long trip from Holland all to be a part of the festival founded by fiddler Byron Berline.
Featured act The Quebe Sisters Band may only hail from the neighboring state of Texas, but the sibs still bring something fresh. Being some of the only women performing at the event and just barely into their 20s, the trio — with a two-piece backing band — doesn’t shy away from playing bluegrass with the best of them, even if most their age opt for Lady Gaga or Lil Wayne.
“I think it’s just great music. It boils down to an amazing art form,” Sophia Quebe said. “It doesn’t matter to me what time in history it comes from necessarily, as long as it’s good music. There’s great music today, great music 40 years ago, and we play a lot of more traditional-based music. It appeals to me and my sisters because we sit back and listen to it, and it’s just a great style.”
The three have given Western swing, vintage country, jazz standards and bluegrass a go since adolescence. Although all three play the fiddle, sibling rivalry is rarely an issue.
“We have our moments, for sure.
But we get over it and get past it, whatever it is,” Quebe said. “It’s nice to be able to do this together.”
Getting an early start has paid off in more ways than one. The act has been praised by the likes of Jimmy Buffett and Marty Stuart, supported Merle Haggard and Ricky Skaggs in concert, performed as a backing band for billionaire Warren Buffett, and played for President George W. Bush alongside Asleep at the Wheel.
“It was an incredible experience,” Quebe said. “It was such an honor, and that really blew our minds that we were there getting to be a part of that. It’s nice to look back and see opportunities like that coming through music.”
Despite already having played for more than a decade, The Quebe Sisters don’t look to slow down anytime soon. Burnout does not even appear to be a possibility.
“It’s always working toward the next thing, your next goal and trying to achieve something,” she said. “Just to keep things moving along, that keeps it fresh and exciting as you do it every day.”