Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Last summer, late one afternoon, I got a call from one of my bosses: "What are you doing tonight? There's a band in town you should hear..."

Della Mae, in town to visit family before heading over to Seattle for a show, had happened to stop by Coeur Coffee, a shop my boss had heard me mention a few times. A few hours later a back room was cleared out, instruments were brought in, and Della Mae put on an impromptu concert for family, friends, and a few random people (like me).
I walked in to the coffee shop that night 100% blind knowing only the name of the band- no clue what kind of music, instruments, any idea what to expect.

Completely unplugged, completely on the fly, Della Mae BLEW. ME. AWAY.

Five young ladies- Kimber Lukider on fiddle, Celia Woodsmith on guitar and lead vocals, Courtney Hartman on guitar, Shelby Means on bass, and Jenni Lyn Garnder on mandolin- they are a POWERHOUSE of bluegrass music.

There's a certain pure, unaltered power that raw music carries with it away from recording studios, amplifiers, stages. Della Mae that night moved me to tears, smiles, pure musical enjoyment listening to their set. From very powerful traditional bluegrass hymns to their saucy honky-tonk songs these girls know their instruments, know their voices and their talent is undeniable. They blended together anywhere from 2-5 part vocal harmonies, all the different instruments, spot on rhythms, all on the fly. Undoubtedly there are countless hours of practice and hashing things out behind the scenes that go into a sound that well put together (especially unplugged), but these gals made it look seamless and simple.

Kimber Ludiker, a Spokane native, pulled the band together searching from coast to coast for the best female players. To say she was successful is a huge understatement- these gals are PHENOMENAL; they have an impressive list of accolades, awards, and industry supporters growing every day.

Since leaving Spokane last summer they have been going non-stop playing bluegrass festivals across North America as well as being selected to play as part of a 42 day State Department Exchange at US Embassy's across the globe (you can find video clips of them playing in all different countries on their web site)- no small feat.

They will be back in Spokane February 27th for a concert- trust when I say regardless what label of music you like, you do NOT want to miss them playing. YES, it's bluegrass. YES, I understand not everyone likes "country." If you like good music, good vocals and appreciate damn good talent, then you shouldn't miss them.

I can't say how much I truly ADORE Della Mae- their CD is almost worn out from dancing to it in the kitchen and singing along in my car. GO, SEE THEM (and help kick cancer's ass at the same time), download their music, check them out.

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