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March 8, 2012

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Bolley was the first. She and Wheeler were old friends. They had played together previously in a group called The Faux Go’s, a Go-Go’s tribute band. Soon after Linda joined, Tetlow, formerly the bass player with the New Orleans’ based-band Cowboy Mouth, switched to banjo and added her distinctive voice to the group. “Sonya plays atypical banjo,” said Lasater. Tetlow, a long time rocker, is more Lowell George than Earl Scruggs. Her playing is propulsively rhythmic. She plays the banjo like a bass, picking deep, throaty single notes often in tandem with Lasater’s prodding bass lines. The last person to join the group was Shaw, who plays lap steel, button accordion, harmonica and guitar.

Roxie Watson always includes one of Dolly Parton’s songs in their sets, but they took more than a song from the woman who once described herself as a “backwoods Barbie.” Like Dolly they know how to tell a compelling story with just a few lines; but they also have her pop sensibility. Their songs have strong melodies and buoyant harmonies that leaven even their darkest songs.Their music isn’t lightweight, but it is joyously lighthearted.

Richard Winham is the host and producer of WUTC-FM’s afternoon music program and has observed the Chattanooga music scene for more than 25 years.

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March 8, 2012

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