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Cherokee Maidens Swing With Debut Recording

Courtesy photo

Cherokee Maidens is a trio focused on the pristine harmonies of Western swing music but band co-founder Robin Macy says the trio’s debut album is about so much more.

“The three harmony vocals kind of drive the record but the music has a bit of a variety to it.”

It’s all swing music—well, mostly—and most of the songs are standards culled from the songbooks of Bob Wills, Jimmie Rodgers, and Merle Travis. But there’s even an exception to that via Darrell Scott’s “Head South.”

“‘Head South’ is a new song but it sounds like an old song. We didn’t want to do songs that everybody had heard. We didn’t want to do ‘Faded Love.’ We didn’t want to do ‘Big Balls in Cowtown.’ We didn’t want to do ‘Miss Molly.’ We wanted to find songs that were unique, that we could put our stamp on. So, that being a brand new song, it clearly had roots in Western swing and Southern culture.”

Western swing and other forms of roots music have continued to attract new fans of all ages over the decades and some of that might come down to basic human needs.

For Macy, working with the Cherokee Maidens has been a step away from her career as a songwriter and the environmentally-themed songs she’s been recording in that setting over the last two decades.

“This is a right turn for me. It’s really been fun. It’s joyful music.”

Macy’s husband Kentucky White produced the album and she says that he threw himself into the task of making sure that the sounds were as true to authentic Western swing as he could find.

“He is more serious about this recording that all the other recordings he’s done put together. He’s got charts and scores with triple fills and a horn section and lap steel vs. pedal steel.”

All of that might come in handy as the band gets ready to celebrate the release of its new CD. Macy and her partners Monica Taylor Johnson and Jennifer Pettersen will join up with White and the rhythm section of Jordan Bollig and Kirk Russell plus a variety of Wichita music veterans and some newcomers as well. In short, a cross section of generations.

“I think our crowd is multigenerational. I think there will be people that will love to come and see everybody that performed on the album—you won’t be able to do that any other time—and take away a piece of the music.”

Cherokee Maidens will celebrate the release of their new album tonight at the Crown Uptown.

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.