Sweet Alibi to entertain at Scalliwags
Every once in a while a band comes along that will have instant success because it does the little things right from the beginning.
Sweet Alibi is one of those bands. The self-titled album from the female trio is so dynamic, well done, and the talent pours through to your ears that makes it hard not to become an instant fan.
Besides blending harmonies, Sweet Alibi band members lead vocalist Jessica Rae Ayre, guitar and ukulele player Amber Neilsen and banjo and guitarist Michelle Anderson are also multi-instrumentalists. The music talent shines through both on stage and on the album.
Rose City Roots Music Society brought in Sweet Alibi to wrap up its 2011-12 season on May 5 for the 8 p.m. concert at Scalliwags Pub and Rum Bar. "Roots means a lot of different things to us," said Jessica. "We keep it open to a mixture of different genres."
The young Winnipeg trio uses intricate vocal harmonies with jazz, folk, rhythm and blues, and soul in a blend of styles that suits most music fans.
Jessica and Michelle knew each other in school, and eventually they formed a trio when Amber made a perfect addition to the band. "I met Amber at a jam session and things just clicked. We wrote the song "Pick Me Up" and things went on a roll from there," added Jessica. "Music has a strong influence on people's lives in Winnipeg. There have been so many artists with various backgrounds that have had an influence on us."
The band is currently touring western Canada. "We want to go to Europe and Australia before going back into the studio," said Jessica. "We want to get to know more people, visit more places and create a larger following. People want to see us play live, as well as know us."
The three members draw on their differing musical backgrounds for a sound that stands apart, and songwriting is a true collaboration. “Although 80 to 90 per cent of our songs are written together, Amber does take the lead,” said Jessica.
Amber wrote the song "Trial" that is a favourite with some music fans. "I wrote it when I was 16 or 17 and it is based on a relationship that I thought was serious at the time. It's about breaking up one day and getting back together the next," explained Amber. "It is extremely rewarding to share your life songs with people. It is like therapy. All of a sudden thousands of people know what you went through."
For the most part, the trio write about normal topics such as relationships. However, "Phoebe's Song" is sweet, sad and humorous at the same time. "The song is about my bird, Pheobe, that I lost. People like to share their stories about pets they love or have lost."
The songwriting has been molded into a series of experiences. "We like to write our own songs because it means more and that’s a lot of the fun for us," added Amber. "It is more creative that way and rewarding."
The band likes to play on intimate stages, but they have set bigger goals. "One of our goals is to play at a bigger festival. I like playing in front of a lot of people," said Amber. "It can give you more energy if people are clapping, getting into the music."