The Mother Truckers' kissing cousins
By Jim Caligiuri, 12:57PM, Wed. Aug. 8, 2012
If you haven’t seen the Mother Truckers around town lately, here’s the deal. After 12 years, bandleaders Teal Collins Zee and Josh Zee decided to take a break and do other things. He's now part of the South Austin Moonlighters. She's teamed up with relatively new-to-town singer-songwriter Barbara Nesbitt and formed the Whiskey Sisters.
The Moonlighters seem like a fun side project for a bunch of like-minded country rockers from other bands. The Whiskey Sisters appear to be on their way to being a real band. They’re in the middle of recording an album and just started a Thursday night Happy Hour residency at the Continental Club.
Collins Zee explains that, in a fortuitous twist, she met Nesbitt at a Moonlighters gig at the Saxon Pub last December.
“I was feeling like I wanted to be singing. I missed the gigs,” she relates. “We got together with a mutual friend and right away we knew. It was just a feeling. I thought that our voices went really well together. We both liked each other's songwriting. Then when I came up with the name the Whiskey Sisters and it wasn’t taken as a band name, that was a sign. That felt like a green light to me.
“I’ve lived here for seven years. Once we put the band together and had enough songs, it was easy to get some gigs. It’s been great. It’s not like we’re starting from scratch.”
They’ve gotten inventive finding money for making their debut, taking a page from the Kickstarter manual with what they call ‘Whiskeystarter,” a fund raising option that can be found on their website.
“It’s been great,” she says. “We’re almost halfway to funding. It’s people saying, ‘I love your band. I want to see you make an album and I’m willing to buy one in advance.’ There are programs out there where people sign up to pay once a month, but I don’t feel at ease with that.
“With this, we’re making the album. You're essentially just buying it in advance. One thing that’s easier for us, is because we’re doing this ourselves, people pay and it goes right to us.”
Musically, the Sisters are a little less hard-edged than the Truckers, but no less fun. I had to chuckle when at a recent gig they had people two-stepping to a Kinks cover. When the Truckers first moved to town from California they had a Continental Club residency that gave the band a lot of local cred.
“It really helped the Truckers,” Collins Zee agrees, “and I hope it’s going to do the same of us.”