Nickel&Rose and SistaStrings
Nickel&Rose is an American folk-music duo made up of Upright Bassist Johanna Rose and Guitarist Carl Nichols. They formed in the summer of 2016 and spent their first winter and the following spring traveling Europe, playing dozens of shows in France, Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine. While in Berlin they recorded their EP, Oh Sweet Love, released in April 2017. Oh Sweet Love, is a sweet-sounding auditory souvenir of Nichols’ and Rose’s four month European journey and a recorded testament to the two-piece’s ability to turn tough times into something vibrant with help from a traveling companion.
Nickel&Rose have influences that span the spectrum of American music. Carl’s background brings elements of West African music and Blues while Johanna brings her experience playing Bluegrass, Folk and Jazz. From loss to heart break to love, Nickel&Rose address the human experience with gentle harmonies and soul stirring cries. With a shared appreciation for traditional music and a desire to break rules, the two have have created a unique sound that embodies Americana’s past and future.
The sound of SistaStrings can’t be described in one word. The Milwaukee based sister duo combines their classical background with R&B with a touch of gospel influence that culminates in a vibey, lush sound. With thick string harmonies between violin and cello and soulful voices, SistaStrings takes you on a journey. Formed in 2014 after the sisters graduated from college, Chauntee (violin) moved back from her studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Monique from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the sisters began doing string arrangements for local hip-hop artists and the rest is history. Slowly but surely, SistaStrings built a following and began playing more shows with collaboration being one of their strongest points.
The sisters not only write and arrange but find pleasure sitting in with musicians and exploring what sounds come from improvisation and spontaneity. Outside of being their own act, SistaStrings can often be found playing alongside singer/songwriter Peter Mulvey. Having been raised in church, SistaStrings was able to build their improv skills and ear training. The classical background that the two sisters have had allows them to command their instrument at will.
SistaStrings has performed with Malik Yusef, opened for Black Violin, Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony, Lupe Fiasco, BJ The Chicago Kid, and The Roots. Outside of playing music venues, SistaStrings goes into schools and conducts assemblies, encouraging young people to pursue the arts and to not be afraid of hard work. Outreach and representation are important to these two young ladies as African American string players. The ladies are advocates for diversity in the arts and promote social justice in all that they do musically. SistaStrings will be releasing their debut EP in 2019.
Vocals, Violin / Chauntee Ross
Vocals, Cello / Monique Ross