There’s a couple of Maine acts coming to the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, Midnight Riders and Sugarbush will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. The latter act is a trio of young ladies (Becca Biggs, banjo, foot percussion and vocals; Amy Green, guitar and vocals; and Camille Giglio, cello and vocals) with a sound and style all their own. Vocal harmonies, acoustic splendor and a powerful need to speak the truth are at the forefront of this group making the tracks on their debut CD — “Fresh from the Woods” (Feb. 2016) — shine and entertain. In a recent telephone interview from her home, cellist Camille Giglio was more than happy to explain her band’s origins and unique sound.

Q: Where am I calling?

Giglio: I am in Thorndike and Becca and Amy both live in Monroe so we’re about 15 minutes apart — well, they live about five minutes from each other but, yeah, it’s super-handy — we live close by.

Q: How did you ladies get together to do this?

Giglio: I knew Becca and Amy separately — they had not met yet. I had jammed a couple of times with Becca at various parties and things and I had never played music with Amy but we had sung in circles together before. I knew we all played music and Becca and I one time joked about starting a girl band; so I asked them both if they wanted to get together one night — about two years ago — and towards the end of the evening we looked at each other and went, “yup, we’re a band — okay we’re going to do this!”

Q: Well, I really enjoy you’re cello playing in this group, whether plucked or bowed it’s ‘voice’ adds so much to the overall sound of Sugarbush.

Giglio: I love being able to be weird and creative with these girls finding cello pieces to go on every song — it’s not always doing something soloing; it’s really fun doing that with them.

Q: The sound of your voices together is very unique — I mean, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss all spring to mind when I listen to your debut album, “Fresh from the Woods.” Now, that was recorded live, correct?

Giglio: Yeah, the whole thing was recorded live. We kind of just wanted to stick our feet in and see what having a CD — or an album — was all about. We wanted to do everything ourselves. We all have this entrepreneurial spirit and don’t mind just forging ahead and putting ourselves out there. So we rented a place for the whole day, and of course they did some editing afterwards, but 99.9% of it is, like, all just live sound — we were really happy with that experience. We hope to maybe do something more recorded and take our time in the future but this was a great first run for us.

Q: So I guess it’s safe to assume that this CD presents what you girls sound like live in concert.

Giglio: Yeah, very similar, anyway. But yeah. We’re just excited to be playing out more and more. We have material that we’ve all been writing for the last three months — basically since that CD came out — that we’ll be putting in a new CD at some point as well.

Q: Two of the songs on that album — “December Rain” and “Women Are Water” — really caught my attention right away and I find myself going back and listening to them over and over again.

Giglio: Yeah, Amy who plays guitar wrote both of those songs, and those are two that are super-dear to my heart, as well. I love getting to be cello-y on them; they’re a lot of fun.

Q: Have you ever played at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts before?

Giglio: No, we haven’t actually. We have not; I’ve never been there. I’ve been on the website and driven past a bunch of times, so I’m excited to check it out and be performing there.

Q: I’ve heard there is not a bad seat in the house and that the acoustics are unreal, which all lends itself to what you gals are doing.

Giglio: Yeah, that is great news.

Q: Where else has Sugarbush played?

Giglio: Kind of all over Maine, mostly where we live and further south along the coast a bunch — in Rockport and Belfast many times — and also in Portland a handful of times and in Western Maine as well. We recorded the CD in Bethel and did a show in Denmark at a performing arts center there.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the readers of this article?

Giglio: Well, I don’t know who came up with this but there’s been a promo circulating around for this show that says, “This combo is a musical version of when Maine apple cider goes hard: delicious and a little edgy” — and we’re kind of all fans of that in the band. We think it’s a really fun explanation. I also want to say: “Get ready to come enjoy some music, maybe dance and have a good time!”

Lucky Clark has spent more than 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.


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