The Stairwell Sisters, San Francisco’s all-girl old-time teardown, released their third record on May 12, titled “Get Off Your Money.” With this release, I’d like to nominate them as reigning queens of the Bay Area old-time music scene. Lloyd Maines (father of Dixie Chick Natalie) did a bangup job of producing this vibrant collection of tunes and songs that come from diverse sources.
The Stairwells have continued in their previous vein, in that they have mined the old-time repertoire for the usual kick-butt fiddle tunes, as well as writing their own songs that naturally sit well next to their trad material. One unusual choice is the mesmerizing Swahili song “Selina,” brought to the band by fiddler Stephanie Prausnitz. As a whole, the record shows a remarkable consistency from start to finish, and it allows the ladies to shine as they sing and play fiddle, banjo, dobro, guitars, and bass. And of course, dance…Evie Ladin’s clogging chugs under the melodies here and there, a solid percussion accompaniment, and always fun to watch at their live shows.
Keep up the good work ladies!