You'd never guess it from their sound, but Sexy Ester and the Pretty Mama Sisters got their start as a goth band. Well, sort of.
Adam Eder, one founding member of the local pop-rock group, met Lyndsay Evans, the other founding member, back in 1998 when he was the bass player for the grunge-turned-goth band Vampyres Sleep in the Shade.
The two began writing songs together and, after Vampyres officially disbanded in 2001, started playing acoustic sets around town. Instead of recreating the gloom and doom of Vampyres, the duo found itself drawing from the darkness and heartache of blues-inspired classic rockers such as Jefferson Airplane, The Animals and The Rolling Stones.
Then, last January, the band's roots emerged again when Dusty Hay, Vampyres' drummer, joined the project. However, they didn't return to goth at this juncture either. Instead, the band took a bit of an arena-rock turn, plugging in their instruments and recording an album of good, old-fashioned rock 'n' roll songs composed over the past eight years.
"Each song on the new album, Get Your Love On, sort of represents a different point in our lives over the last decade," says Evans.
Eder and Evans -- who are now married -- admit that one track, "The Tambourine Song," has a particularly special place in their hearts both personally and musically.
"It was one of the first songs Adam and I wrote together," says Evans, "and it has this really unique time signature, which makes it interesting from a musical standpoint. Plus, the lyrics came out of a bit of writer's block."
In other words, it's an example of the band's enduring strengths and some of their more difficult challenges, a taste of both where they're going and where they've been -- and not in a sappy, tear-jerking kind of way. Featuring a warbling harmonica melody by Michael "Mouse" Adams Jr., tambourine by Paul Schluter of Megatone Studios, a down-and-dirty electric-guitar jam by Eder, and Evans' signature vocals -- a Freddie Mercury-meets-Janis Joplin sort of sound that's both powerful and beautiful -- it's arguably one of the most rocking songs on the album.
An MP3 of "The Tambourine Song" is available in the related download sections at right. More songs by the band can be found on its MySpace page. Sexy Ester and the Pretty Mama Sisters will debut Get Your Love On, as well as its new lineup, which includes Brad Schubert on bass guitar and Roscoe Evans on keys, harmonica and guitar, in a release party at The Frequency on Saturday, January 31.
MadTracks highlights and provides MP3s of songs performed by local musicians. All tracks here are provided with permission of the artist. If you are a musician based in the Madison metro area and are interested in sharing your work as a MadTrack, please send a message.