It was a beautiful evening in Bethesda, Maryland as a few hundred fans stretched out on the lawn in front of the Strathmore Mansion with picnics in hand to enjoy a free concert by the Lovell Sisters Band. This band of three young sisters from Georgia played two spirited sets bringing together bluegrass and country classics with some very tasteful original music. All three sisters – Jessica on fiddle, Megan on Dobro, and Rebecca on mandolin and guitar – are excellent instrumentalists and the harmony singing is as good as expected from three musical siblings. While all three sisters had their moments, the standout for me was the youngest, Rebecca – the writer of much of the original material and the owner of a nice bluesy voice that will only get better as she matures. She also played some spirited mandolin breaks, trading licks with guitarist Matt Wingate. During the concert I turned to my wife and said “that guitarist is good,” so I wasn’t surprised to find out later that he is a former Merlefest guitar champ. The band was rounded out with strong bass work by Andy Nall, from the sisters’ hometown of Calhoun.
The Lovell Sisters played a variety of tunes but never flagged- even putting new energy into the old Johnny Cash chestnut Folsom Prison Blues. And when they talked they sounded exactly like three teenage sisters (which is endearing to those of us with teenagers in the house).
A beautiful night and a fun evening of music.