She Keeps Bees

Photo by Anna Groth-Shive

She Keeps Bees is the married duo of Jess Larrabee and Andy LaPlant and they’re set to release their first album in five years. The new track utilizes less of the distorted guitars that I’d come to expect from them but and uses more keys. Andy’s tight beats and Jess’ powerful vocals remain. Kinship will see the light of day on May 10 via Ba Da Bing Records. Here’s some more info from the label.

Kinship takes aim at our current shared social and environmental woes, but from a learned vantage point. On “Coyote,” Larrabee finds inspiration in Katie Lee, a Folkways singer/actress/protestor who vocally opposed damming the Colorado River. Waters needed to flow their natural paths, she argued, and human intervention was destroying our environment. Likewise, Larrabee’s lyrics are odes to Nature’s dominance and its eternal victory, whereas humanity’s survival suffers a more tenuous fate. Larrabee sings “Carved by rain, by rivers, by streams / Flood the canyons / Drown everything / Ignore the rules of balance.”

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She Keeps Bees are here


She Keeps Bees – Dig On [Album Review]

by Woody on October 20, 2011

Since we’ve been blogging about music, I’ve discovered new bands in all sorts of unique ways. This one might take the cake. I was coaching my kid’s kindergarten baseball team and mentioned to the other coach that I was going to go to Schubas that night. It turned out that his brother-in-law and his girlfriend were playing that night as the opening act.

I had planned on being all nice, telling them that they were great no matter what they sounded like. To my surprise, it took one verse to realize that my honesty wouldn’t be compromised. She Keeps Bees is a two piece, Jessica Larrabee on guitar and vocals and Andy Laplant handles the drums, and they play a slow-burning type of blues. While Cat Power is the easy comparison for Larrabee’s vocals, I was immediately reminded of Erika Wennerstrom of The Heartless Bastards. She’s full of vocal confidence whether she’s firing out bluesy rockers or smokey ballads.

It’s a real treat when she fits both into the same tune such as “See Me” which smolders as Laplant keeps a basic beat with the bass, cymbal and a side of snare. I don’t know if it is autobiographical or not, but it’s pretty powerful when Larrabee is screaming out, “I’m still your daughter!” at the tune’s conclusion.

She Keeps Bees are a treat to see live. I’ve seen them twice and they bring a great stage presence each time, whether at Schubas in Chicago or a record store in Austin.

2. She Keeps Bees – Saturn Return by wepromised