On the Road of Success with von Grey

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Indie-alt-folk band von Grey will kick off 2013 with a free, all-ages show at 4 p.m. next Tuesday, January 1, 2013, at Criminal Records in Atlanta’s Little 5 Points neighborhood. The performance will be recorded live and released on vinyl on Record Store Day, April 20, 2013. The four classically trained sisters will hit the road with Company of Thieves later this month, touring in support of their self-titled EP, which was produced by GRAMMY® winner Nick DiDia (Bruce Springsteen, Train, The Gaslight Anthem).

The girls will kick off a tour with Company of Thieves on January 23, 2013 at The Bishop in Bloomington, IN.  The run will include shows at World Café in Philadelphia (1/29), New York City’s Highline Ballroom (1/31) and Jammin Java in Vienna, VA (2/4). Before they do all that, they will be playing at Eddie’s Attic  515 North McDonough Street, Decatur, GA 30030, on Saturday, December 29.The show begins at 8 p.m. with opener Doria Roberts and von Grey will take the stage at approximately 9 p.m.

The band, which recently wrapped up a West Coast tour with Lindsey Stirling, is currently on tour in the South and will play the 2013 30A Songwriters Festival in Florida, scheduled for January 18-20 and featuring such artists as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Suzanne Vega, Lucinda Williams and Nanci Griffith. See below for itinerary.

The classically trained Alpharetta, GA sisters recorded the EP with GRAMMY® winner Nick DiDia (Bruce Springsteen, Train, The Gaslight Anthem). von Grey – comprising Annika (lead vocals, violin, banjo, guitar, keys), Fiona (lead vocals, guitar, violin, percussion), Petra (keys, lap steel guitar, background vocals) and Kathryn (cello, bass, mandolin, keys, background vocals) – has performed upwards of 200 shows in the past two years, from recurring residency tours at intimate venues throughout the southeastern U.S. to supporting gigs with such artists as Sarah McLachlan.

We got with Annika and asked her a few questions:

TBB: Can each of the girls introduce themselves, with their name and age:

Annika:  Kathryn is the oldest sister. She is 17 and plays cello, mandolin, keys,
and bass pedals/guitar. Fiona, 15, is a lead vocalist and primarily plays
guitar. Petra, the caboose, is 12 and plays keys, lap steel, and percussion.
I’m Annika, 16 years old, and I share lead vocals and play violin, keys,
banjo, and guitar.

TBB: How did this all begin? Who’s idea was it to form this amazing group?

Annika: We each started playing classical piano at age 5, and were shortly
thereafter immersed in Suzuki string instruction. Kathryn took up the cello;
Fiona and I played violin; and Peta studied viola. Seeing as though we made
up a quartet, at a very young age we began playing together at home and
eventually studied and performed Chamber music as a group.  We did the
reception and wedding thing for a short while, but about 4 years ago as we
moved into our teen years, we got the bug to venture out and experiment with
our music.  The ear-training, discipline, and music theory that came along
with our Classical studies really facilitated our ambition to create music
that was more contemporary and indicative of the kind of music we like to
listen to in our free time.

TBB: I heard about your guys a while ago, through John Briglevich. He was amazed
with you all and your talent. What was it like to work with him?
Annika:  We had the pleasure of meeting and working with John Briglevich early in
our venture.  He worked with us on one of our first recording projects about
three years ago, and really showed us for the fist time what it’s like to be
in the recording studio environment. We appreciate to this day his
insistence that we “get it right” in the studio and not use artificial
corrections.  John also encouraged our involvement and opinions throughout
the process, something that we have come to expect from all of the people
who are involved in our creative process.

TBB: I also heard about you through Tammy Hurt. How was working with such a great
local success and supporter of the local music scene?
Annika:  We were introduced to Tammy Hurt through her connection and involvement
in numerous organizations in the area that support musicians and industry
people.  Making music is what we love and do; understanding the music
industry is and will continue to be a learning process.  Tammy has and will
continue to help us navigate through that “unknown” piece of the equation.
She has been incredibly supportive of our musical pursuits and protective of
our desire to chart our own musical path.

We have been extremely fortunate to find a myriad of accomplished musicians,
instructors, venues, and related industry people in Atlanta and the
surrounding area who have supported our band and musical pursuits.
Meeting people like Tammy and John (and many others) has been one of the
most rewarding parts of this entire journey.

TBB: What is on your schedule for the New Year?
Annika:  We finished up our first west coast tour a few weeks ago, and are heading
off to play the mid-west/north east region in late January-early Feb with a
very cool group, Company of Thieves.  We are currently exploring
opportunites that will take us back to the West Coast and into parts of
Canada. And of course we love returning to places where we have previously
played.  We hope to record and release our next project before Summer 2013,
but touring schedules may be the biggest determinate of that timescale.
Right now, we are totally into our songwriting (which we love), playing our
music to anyone who will listen, and meeting new people who dig what we are
doing.

TBB: Tell me about the show coming up at Eddies Attic….. also, have you played there before?

Annika:  We have played Eddie’s before, but this is our first time playing without
opening for or co-billing it with another artist.  Doria Roberts is going to
be opening up for us, and we are totally jazzed about sharing the evening
with her. As for our music selection, we tend to be young and daring when it
comes to set lists, so no doubt the evening will include some new material.
This show, however, is going to be our first “Live Recording,” so we’ll also
be including the songs previously released and ones recognizable to the
people who already know von Grey.  Eddie’s is an amazingly intimate venue.
It’s a place we feel comfortable and at home in
– it is a place that draws true music enthusiasts. Saturday should be a fun
night with people we have met and hopefully some new faces as well!