“Most of the songs on this album were written while I was recovering from a major injury,” says singer/songwriter Sherri-Anne of Sister Speak’s upcoming debut full-length Rise Up for Love. “I broke my pelvis and sacrum on my way to an event during SXSW in Austin in 2012. I went home to British Columbia, Canada to recover.... For the first month, one of the only things I could do was play my guitar. So I did, every day, sometimes eight hours a day. I was going through some very intense life changes, heartbreak...it was these songs that helped me cope through it all.”
The rootsy, topical rockers evolved after Sherri-Anne uprooted from a long Chicago residency to spend much of 2009 touring (minus a vehicle) with Samantha Cathcart, with whom she settled in San Diego and founded Sister Speak.
“The idea was a collaboration of musicians supporting the expression of the woman’s voice through music,” says Sherri-Anne, who later recruited drummer/percussionist Lisa Viegas for a revised lineup (now co-ed, and minus Cathcart) that earned a Best New Artist nomination at the 2011 SDMAs.
Viegas notes that gender-blending hasn’t altered their lady-centric vibe. “We’re working with two great guys, guitarist and harmony vocalist Tolan Shaw and bassist Jacob Miranda. We love having both male and female members in the band, as it creates a nice balance of energy. It’s amazing how supportive the guys have been of the music and the female voice. Everyone in the band has a passion for writing, so when Sher brings the songs to the band, everyone takes the time to write their own parts.”
An all-ages release party for Rise Up for Love — recorded and mixed by Alan Sanderson local Analog Chew Studios — happens March 21 at the Worldbeat Center in Balboa Park, where locals Todo Mundo and L.A. funksters GrooveSession will also appear.