The Boswell Sisters?
Martha, Vet (Helvetia) and Connee Boswell, began their career in New Orleans in the 1920's as children. Gifted musicians, their concerts included classical and jazz instrumentals, as well as harmonising popular songs and whistling. Martha played piano, Vet - violin, banjo and guitar, and Connee, paralysed from the waist down after a childhood bout of polio, played cello, saxophone and guitar.
Their tight harmonies - dotted with scat syllables and dizzying tempo & key changes quickly made them popular. They toured the Vaudeville circuit and moved to LA. When the offer came to co-host a show on CBS, New York with Bing Crosby, they didn't hesitate to accept. The sisters found worldwide success, recording and working with the jazz greats of the time and touring Europe.
Then, quite suddenly, both Vet and Martha retired from show business in 1936. Their touring and radio gigs given to a Boswell Sisters cover band called The Andrews Sisters (Yes - those Andrews Sisters!) and the Boswell Sisters slowly faded into obscurity.
I believe that should change.
The Boswell Sister's arrangements are complex and beautiful - harmonically years ahead of their time. Each song was stripped to its bare bones and completely reshaped. They overcame challenges - one of the largest being that Connee was wheelchair bound - to become an international success, and the primary source of inpiration for artists such as The Andrews Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland.
For me, I simply can't believe that that this - the birthplace of vocal jazz - has largely been forgotten by contemporary jazz history. My mission is to faithfully recreate and breathe new life into the incredible music of the Boswell Sisters, and bring their music and story to the world.
The Shout Sisters
If you want your soul set free, lift your voice and sing with me....
Named after The Boswell Sister's theme song "Shout Sister, Shout" - The Shout Sisters are a London-based three-part vocal harmony group, celebrating the music of The Boswell Sisters and other vintage gems from the early to mid 1930's.
The Shout Sister's were born when Louise Messenger, (Australia) & Elise Roth (USA) moved to London in 2018. Brought together by a shared love of music and harmony, it didn't take long for them to start singing together. (Actually, it took about an hour after they were first introduced to each other, sitting in with Duncan Hemstock's All Stars to sing their first duet) Bringing Noelle Davies-Brock (UK) into the picture was the next step in completing the line up, and the Shout Sisters were born.
Since then the trio have delved deeply into the music of the Boswell Sisters, and written many of their own arrangements for other tunes of the era. Accompanied by a bespoke group of London's finest early jazz musicians, as well as collaborating with Brighton's Swing Ninja's, they've enertained a wide variety of jazz fans and swing dancers alike.
The Boswell Project
Life is just a bowl of cherries...
"The Boswell Project" was born in 2012, when friends and jazz vocalists Kylie Ferreira, Louise Messenger and Valeska Laity were lamenting the opportunities for women singers to work together. Rehearsing for fun, they unwittingly stumbled on the super-group from the 1930's that were to change their lives - The Boswell Sisters.
"As we immersed ourselves in the music, we realised that this was something quite out of the ordinary. The harmonies and the arrangements were complex and beautiful. Each of the songs the Boswell Sisters sung had been stripped to its bare bones and completely reshaped. We simply could not believe that this - the birthplace of vocal jazz - had largely been forgotten by contemporary jazz history."
- Louise Messenger
During their time together, the Boswell Project and their band sold out two seasons at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, their season at the Adelaide International Cabaret Festival, played on the mainstage at the Manly Jazz Festival, sang to 36 000 people at Carols in the Park, garnered a host of 5 star reviews, released a successfull EP & music clip and life-changingly toured to New Orleans to take part in the 100th year Boswell Celebrations.
Louise, Valeska and Kylie remain very proud of everything they acheived in the Boswell Project, and hope to sing together again someday, when they are not seperated by oceans and date lines.