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It's not unusual to hear female vocalists say they have been influenced musically by Etta James and Billie Holiday … it's also safe to say that it's not unusual to hear female vocalists say they have been influenced by such legends as Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. It is, however, unusual when those female vocalists are as young as Cirby, Carli and Celbi Manchaca, the three sisters who are Sister C.
But they are not your “usual” female vocalists. Although they have also been influenced and inspired by current stars like Norah Jones, Corrine Bailey Rae, Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles, Adele and singer/songwriters like Toni Price, Patti Griffin and Kelly Willis, these sisters grew up in a household where recordings by Willie, Merle and George (both Jones AND Strait) were often followed with recordings by Ray Charles, Patsy Cline and Harry Connick, Jr., with a healthy seasoning of blues, jazz and zydeco sprinkled in.
That interesting mix of music genres and vocal styles is evident in the girls’ song choices for both performing and recording – classic rock to traditional country, sultry blues to contemporary pop, it’s all there and they are surprisingly comfortable with all of them.
Also evident is the influence of family and a hometown full of lifelong friends. Growing up in a relatively small Texas town in a family that hits the ground running every day, whether hunting, mudding, riding horses, fishing, dancing, playing basketball or singing, the girls were always somewhere in the mix with one or both their parents – and a slew of friends and extended family – not far away.
Cirby, Carli and Celbi all agree: "We don't have to look any further than our own home to find all the support we need for whatever we try to do. We know we can count on our family to be there for us and we can turn to our parents for anything - they are our heroes and our biggest fans.
We realize how lucky we are to have a loving family to come home to and a bunch of amazing friends to hang out with. Not everyone is that fortunate and we are grateful every day." All three girls have lofty goals in life, not all of which are music related but where music is concerned their goal is clear.
In Cirby’s words: "I believe that when we hear a song that touches us, it probably also touches other people. That's what we want to do – find or write and record a song that other people will hear us sing and maybe it would follow them around for a while. That would be awesome." Awesome, indeed.
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