Inside look at the T Sisters backstage at Hangtown Halloween

Tahoe Onstage reporter Garrett Bethmann interviews the T Sisters during the Hangtown Halloween Ball. Photos by Larry Sabo
Tahoe Onstage reporter Garrett Bethmann interviews the T Sisters during the Hangtown Halloween Ball.
Photos by Larry Sabo

A couple weeks ago the T Sisters took the main stage at the Hangtown Halloween Ball Music Festival in Placerville, just a delightful 40-minute drive North through the Sierra from Sutter Creek, decked out as undead versions of blockbuster pop-act The Spice Girls, for which they deemed themselves The Spice Ghouls. Chloe, Rachel and Erika Tietjen were Scary, Baby and Sporty Ghoul respectively, while upright bassist Steve Height and mandolinist/guitar player Andrew Allen Fahlander donned the short sexy skirts of Ginger and Posh Ghoul. It was an awesome experience to see the band tackle the ghostly theme of the weekend so well and with so much spirit.

T SistersThe following day Tahoe Onstage was able to catch up with the band after a morning set that had them serenading the campgrounds in gorgeous three-part harmonies that were as pretty as an alarm clock could get. With everyone in the band squished together on a couch in a tent backstage the sisters gushed about performing as The Spice Ghouls and said they loved being able to don costumes, a definite highlight for them. They mentioned dressing up and performing as ABBA as a possible consideration, but Chloe conceded they did not have enough time “to learn a disco song” and the ABBA’s identity as a foursome would have left one of their members out. All the better, because the band slayed its costumes and performed a standout version of “Say You’ll Be There,” knocking it out of the park the way only true Spice Girls fans could.

The T Sisters’s trip to the festival was a first for the band, and they described the experience as “sweet and spicy like a pumpkin pie. … All around a tasty experience.” With two days to hang out at Hangtown, the sisters enjoyed having the chance to check out musicians they hadn’t seen before and walking around the campgrounds, citing Rubblebucket and Trombone Shorty as two shows that had an impact on them. Chloe also noted Joe Craven’s set as a game-changer, saying, “he is such an inspiring performer and musician, and he just shows you don’t have to choose a genre as a musician, you can do whatever you want and try and get people to go along for the ride.”

After a run of shows in November and December, the band is going to be able to take some of that inspiration from Hangtown and put into its new record, starting in January. The past year and a half has seen the band put out two new batches of material, 2014’s full length release “Kindred Lines” and 2015’s EP “Ready For Love.” They are both beautiful and sassy records that have traces of bluegrass, folk, ragtime, blues and roots music all tied together with the sisterly harmonies of Chloe, Rachel and Erika. One can only believe the new album will tow along the same lines and people going to tonight’s show should keep their ears perked for new material the band might be fiddling with.

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