Nashville: Our Home Away From Home 1-2015
We just got back from another great trip down to Nashville! This was a fun-packed week, starting with a stop-off in Knoxville to play on WDVX's Tennessee Shines. While in Nashville, we had the esteemed pleasure to perform a songwriters-in-the-round at The Bluebird Cafe with fellow songwriters Karen Leipziger and Shane Dwight, at New Faces Night at The Basement, at the famed WSM Radio, and last but not least, at Music City Roots!
Check out our VIDEO HERE from Music City Roots performing "What You Don't Know" with Jim Lauderdale!
It was such an amazing week and we can't wait to go back to our musical home away from home!
The Hello Strangers Official National Release Is Today, October 21, 2014!
HOORAY! Today is the official National Release Date of our new album, The Hello Strangers! It made it to #23 on the Americana chart, #1 on the AirPlay Direct Americana chart, and #14 on the Alternate Root chart! Here's what people are saying about it (for our complete press list, click HERE):
“This album is just brilliant…and deserves to be heard – and heard often. Listen and see if you don’t agree!” - Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville/Billboard
"A satisfying mix of smart songwriting and memorable melodies — not to mention the undeniable sibling harmonies." - Craig Shelburne, CMT Edge
"The Hello Strangers demonstrate the kind of credence that only happens when worldly experience is paired with shattered sentiment. These two ladies certainly stand out on their own. Country credence is assured, and with it, a very promising future indeed." - Lee Zimmerman, No Depression
"The sister duo’s self-titled album is one of the year’s strongest debut albums. Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace Smith serve up a delightful collection of songs, ranging from the raucous singalong 'What It Takes to Break A Heart' to the honky-tonking 'Ruined' to a sweet version of 'Que Sera, Sera,' which pays tribute to the sisters’ grandfather, who sang with Doris Day in the ‘40s. And there’s an appearance from Jim Lauderdale (on 'What You Don’t Know), which is always a bonus." - Juli Thanki, Engine145
"One of the top debut albums of 2014…Their harmonies at times recall a distaff version of the Every Brothers and a country-influence Indigo Girls"…Both women demonstrate a knack for strong songwriting…'Ruined', a country-flavored long-gone wrong turn that could have been recorded by Patsy Cline…'Never Roam Again"…have the poetic simplicity of early John Prine." - Tom Wilk, Icon
"Solid, harmony-laden album, which twines classic country style (think Patsy Cline and Kitty Wells) with contemporary songwriter sensibilities (a la Shawn Colvin and Mindy Smith)." - Bliss Bowen, Pasadena Weekly
We just got back from a great week in Nashville attending the Americana Music Association Festival and Conference, meeting some great industry folks, performing on Sun Radio and at Two Old Hippies in Nashville, and on the WDVX Radio Blue Plate Special in Knoxville, TN. Fun times!
And here's some more RECENT PRESS! For our complete press list, click HERE:
- WE'RE ON BILLBOARD! Chuck Dauphin just wrote a great article about us: "Hello Strangers Talk Self-Titled Debut, Tour & Doris Day"
- "The Hello Strangers demonstrate the kind of credence that only happens when worldly experience is paired with shattered sentiment. These two ladies certainly stand out on their own. Country credence is assured, and with it, a very promising future indeed." - Lee Zimmerman, No Depression
- Danny McCloskey from The Alternate Root featured us on "On The Radar!"
- Chris Spector of Midwest Review calls our album "Post modern down home music...a total antidote and tonic for jaded ears that need some organic nourishment, this set is breathing proof the heartland still has plenty of heart. Killer stuff."
- Colin McGuire of Frederick News-Post says, "No matter what they do, you believe them, and no matter how vengeful some of their words are, you support them. Maybe it’s the harmonies. Or maybe it’s the writing. Or maybe it’s the beauty in voice. Or maybe it’s the raw talent. Or maybe it’s all of that stuff combining to make one big pot of greatness."
Chart Update and New Press! 9/8/14
Another great week - our new album is #23 on the AMA Americana chart and #23 on the Alternate Root chart, and hopefully climbing! We'll keep our figers crossed and be thankful for what lies ahead!
And some new recent press!
- Bob Oermann of Music Row Magazine calls our song, What It Takes To Break A Heart, "Bluesy, rhythmic and completely captivating. The rockabilly groove is spiced with acoustic passages and quasi-shouted vocal moments. Feisty females on the rampage."
- Digital Rodeo says, "This album is delightful, soulful and weaves a mystic spell with sonic beauty and storied lyrics. Great to buy this one."
The Hello Strangers Album Making Waves on Radio Charts! 8/18/14
We're excited to report that our album is making her debut on the radio charts!! This week we are #27 on the Americana Music Association chart in our 5th week of reporting! Check out the chart HERE. This is such an honor for us as we are sharing the chart with big names like Jim Lauderdale, Willie Nelson, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Shovels and Rope!
Also, in the world of album reviews, big thanks to Chuck Dauphin from Music News Nashville for saying this about the new album: “This album is just brilliant…and deserves to be heard – and heard often. Listen and see if you don’t agree!”
Buy The Hello Strangers HERE!
The Hello Strangers Album Available NOW on digital outlets! 5/23/14
IT'S ALL COMING TOGETHER!! Our new, self-titled album is finally up on 150+ digital outlets worldwide and is NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD! Click HERE to purchase it from iTunes. Also available on Google Play, Amazon, etc. Physical copies will be available in a few weeks (Official release date TBA). Yeehaw!!!
We want to thank everyone for their patience and support over these last few years of making this album a reality! xoxo, The Hello Strangers
Jim Lauderdale Sang On Our Album! 4/15/14
We're thrilled to announce that the King of Americana himself, Jim Lauderdale, will be featured on our forthcoming album! We just returned from Nashville where we were able to meet Jim and witness him recording his parts on his (and John Leventhal's) song, "What You Don't Know," which we arranged a version of for our album. It was such a thrill and honor to see him record, and to hear our voices blending together on the recording. We can't wait for you to hear it! This was one of the final touches to put on our self-titled album, which will be out so soon we almost can't bear it! Here's a photo of us with Jim in Nashville. Thanks again, Jim!
New Year, New Album! 1/14
HAPPY 2014!! We are currently putting the final touches on our upcoming, self-titled album! As soon as we have a release date we will officially announce it. But for now, a few tracks you can expect on the new album are: Runaway, Caribou, Conococheague, Ruined, Holy Unholy, Poor Dear, and others, including two surprise covers! We're very excited for you to hear it, so Stay Tuned!
Nashville Trip A Success! 11/13
We had an amazing time traveling to Nashville in October to record with Steve Ivey at Sound Kitchen Studios! We got all our vocals and Larissa's guitar tracks down, and are excited to keep working on the album with Steve. Here are a few photos (© Ryan Smith Photography) from the trip!
We're Going To Nashville! 10/4/13
NEXT WEDNESDAY, we finally make our long-awaited journey to the great city of Nashville to record with IMI Music at Sound Kitchen Studios. We will be in the studio Thursday, 10/10 through Saturday, 10/12. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates!
Signed, Sealed, Delivered - The Hello Strangers Sign Contract with IMI Music! 6/20/13
We are pleased to announce that we have officially signed with IMI Music in Nashville! After a lot of hard work to get it just right, the contract is complete, so now comes the fun: recording the album! We will have the honor of working with IMI Music's own studio musicians on this one, which will be new and exciting for us. Our touring band (Trent, Spencer, and Dave) will continue to play with us at gigs (check out our schedule HERE). So, onwards we go! Check out the photo from our contract signing below - bubbly included! Cheers and thank you for all your support!!! Larissa & Brechyn
Happy 2013 - It's Really the Future Now! 1/13
Brechyn and Larissa have sure been busy! We have great new material for you to sample at our next live gig (and on our forthcoming album), we have been rehearsing with new band members, and have fun live shows on the horizon!
Plus - within the next month or so, recording will begin for our new album in Nashville, TN with IMI Music. We're writing, brainstorming, getting our ducks in a row - and are SOOOO excited!
Thank you all for coming out and seeing us, supporting us, and just being generally awesome!
End of A Year, And A New Start 12.10.12
It has been a year of transitions for us with the new baby, maternity leave, the new album with IMI Music underway...and now we officially announce that on December 15, our dear friends, Katie and Kevin, will be leaving us and going their separate ways. We have had many great memories together, and we thank them for their time, love, and energy these past 4 years.
So come on out to the 1919 CLUB IN BALTIMORE ON 12/15 at 9 PM for our last gig with Katie and Kevin!!!
Rest assured that The Hello Strangers will live on! Brechyn and Larissa will continue work on the new album with IMI Music in Nashville, while gigging with our bassist, Dave Holzwarth, and other supporting musicians. Keep an eye out for news and upcoming shows!
And we thank ALL OF YOU for your continued support and love!
Brechyn & Larissa
Back In the Saddle! 9.27.12
Folks, we're getting back in the saddle after several months on band "maternity leave" after the birth of Boone in April! Mama and Baby are doing great, so we're getting back into gear with gigs and slowly progressing with arrangements for the new album - yes, it's coming, thanks for your patience!!! So check out our Shows page, Like us on Facebook for the latest updates (and photos of Boone), and come see us at a show real soon!
Introducing "Baby Stranger" Boone! 7.25.12
Larissa and her husband, Ryan, are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Boone Vincent Smith, born on April 17, 2012 at 4:18 a.m. He's a real darling, and has been such a pleasure to have in our lives these past 3 months. To see a photo of little Boone, click HERE to access our Facebook page (and Like us while you're there!).
Plans are still in progress to begin recording the new album with IMI Music in the coming months. We will also be scheduling new gigs fairly soon, so stay tuned! And thanks for your patience as Larissa tries this motherhood thing out!
AirPlay Direct Unveils the Winner for the "APD Win an Americana Record Deal" Contest: The Hello Strangers!!! 1/18/12
We are humbled and thrilled to announce that we have been hand-picked by AirPlay Direct and IMI Music as the winners of an Americana record deal! This is what we've been working toward for years now, and to have an opportunity like this one far exceeds our expectations of "getting to the next level!" We want to thank Robert Weingartz from AirPlay Direct and Steve Ivey from IMI Music, along with the team of professionals they have assembled for this contest. We are so excited to work with everyone and have a little more Nashville in our lives! Check out the official press release HERE. We thank you all for your love and support over the past years as we worked to get to this point. Our honky tonk hearts are bursting right now!
xoxo, The Hello Strangers
BIG News for The Hello Strangers! 11/8/11
Do we have some *NEWS* for you! Coming in April, a Baby Stranger will be born! That's right, Larissa is expecting her first child. We're excited for this baby to be born into such a creative atmosphere, especially after the baby spends 9 months rocking out on stage in utero. Things with the band will continue on mostly as usual, though we will take a 6-month "maternity leave" from gigging, March-August 2012. This time will be spent rearing Baby Smith, recording and writing. We hope you will join us at one of our remaining gigs before the baby arrives!
Speaking of which, we unfortunately have had to make a few CANCELLATIONS recently due to a death in the family: We will not be playing on November 18 at Cafe Nola or November 19 at Hempen Hill! Please check with the venues, as the bands we were sharing the bills with on those nights are most likely still performing (Pale Barn Ghosts and June Star, respectively).
Fun Fall News, 10/11/11
Time flies when you're having fun, and we've been busy gigging, rehearsing, recording, and getting ready for one of our favorite nights of the year: HALLOWEEN! We will performing for the third year in a row at Flannery's Tavern on the Square in Mercersburg, PA the night of October 29th at 9 p.m. Mightychondria will be joining us for a DEAD PROM themed night of ghoulishness. Hate the prom? No problem, just come in your favorite Halloween get-up for FREE fun!
If you live in the Frostburg, MD area, be sure to join us at Dante's on October 22 starting at 8 p.m. with Brown Chicken Brown Cow String Band!
Aside from continued work on our forthcoming album, more BIG news is on the way, so stay tuned!
And don't forget to follow us on Twitter!
This Review Makes Us Blush! 8/10/11
Whew! Sorry for the slacking on the news front, folks. As Elizabeth Cook so eloquently put it, "Sometimes your best just isn't good at all." Well, we've certainly been doing things this whole darn summer, we promise! LOTS of recording...some travel and vacations lakeside. And, recently, lots of Twitter. We now have a Twitter account, so please follow us!
Speaking of which, Twitter is how we got connected to No Surf Music in Cleveland, OH, who just recently wrote a *rave* review of our EP, "Introducing Max Schmidt." Not only did Jason, our reviewer and fellow pistachio pudding lover, do his research, but he was ever so kind in his review of us. He made us blush! So check it out, y'all! And please help us spread the word about the review, our band, and No Surf Music.
We Love Publicity: Recent Press for THS, 5/4/11
After a busy month of March in Austin and an April full of gigs, we have been working hard to get back into recording mode. Most of the work will be done this summer, but we will be having a recording "slumber party" at the studio this Friday/Saturday to get our heads on straight and get crackin'. We are so excited to bring this first full-length album to you all, but we want to make sure it's a stellar piece of work, so please bear with us.
We have had some great new press recently. Greg Yost wrote a great article about us in Hagerstown Magazine that features some fantastic new photos by Ryan Smith Photography. Thanks, Greg and Ryan! Thanks, also, to Lauren LaRocca from the Frederick News-Post for her article about us preceding our recent gig at Cafe Nola with Lucas and the Lovelys. It was a great show and we're so looking forward to playing there again on June 11 with The Dearhearts!
Austin Update! 3/17/11
Happy St. Patty's Day! We are in the midst of our Austin visit and having a great time. We opened for Dale Watson on Saturday at our friends' wedding, which was fantastic. Got to meet the band, and we played a great show. The wedding was beautiful and it was nice to mingle in the mild evening temperatures under all the live oaks.
Since then, it's been a slew of live music (even before the official SXSW music festivities started), great food, and running around the city. We've all had opportunities to split up and do our own things, as well as run around as a group. Last night was two-stepping at the Broken Spoke with Dale Watson, and today brings another round of trying to decide which of the thousands of bands to see. And we'll also be gearing up for our gig at G&S Lounge on Saturday at 11:30 p.m.!!!
The Hello Strangers Head to Austin! 3/9/11
We are so thrilled to be returning to our old stomping grounds of Austin, TX, this weekend! We will have the honor of opening for honky-tonk legend, Dale Watson, at our friends Max and Erin's wedding this Saturday.
We will also be playing Cow Island Music's "Spring Round Up" at G&S Lounge on S. 1st Street, Austin, on March 19 at 11:30 p.m (sponsored by 3rd Coast Music and KOOP Radio). Click here for the Facebook event!
We can't wait to visit old friends, eat Torchy's tacos, and go two steppin' at the Broken Spoke! Woo hoo! Give us a holler if you're going to be down that way!
A New Year! In the Studio and Off to Austin! 1/2011
We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. We spent the month of January working on recording preparations for our new, first full-length album entitled, Another To Tell. We will have some guest appearances on pedal steel, dobro and more. We are excited to be tracking new material never before recorded!
We are also getting geared up for a 10 day trip to Austin, TX, our old home, in March for several appearances. We will have the great pleasure of opening for honky-tonk legend, Dale Watson, at our friends' wedding. We will also be performing for the Cow Island Records/3rd Coast Music Showcase at the G&S Lounge on March 19. We are so excited to get back down there, see old friends, meet new ones, and eat some freakin' tacos!
Hot Off the Press:
The Hello Strangers in the Daily Local News!, 11/29/10
We'd like to thank Denny Dyroff for our interview and article for the Daily Local News about our upcoming gig at The Grape Room in Philadelphia tomorrow, December 1! You can view the article here.