Queen Anne's Lace
This trio of women knows it's 'reason for being': to sing together! And sing they do...in arrangements reminiscent of The Andrews Sisters, The Mills Brothers, The Roches, and Joni Mitchell. Wrapping their distinctively tight harmony vocals around song styles that range from early pioneer ballads to sophisticated swing, these women take the listener on a sentimental journey through the timeless beauty of three-part harmony. That music is 'Better Medicine' for what ails the 21st Century is a recurring theme in the group's original compositions. Social responsibility, the healing power of awareness and connection, and the importance of roots echo through such songs as 'Batten Down the Hatches,' 'Holes,' and 'Queen Anne's Lace.' Even their choice of cover songs--Mark Weierman's 'Don't Take the Dog,' 'My Old Kentucky Home,' and 'Wayfaring Stranger' reflect the importance of bearing witness and discovering a sense of place. 'Queen Anne's Lace' features the artistry of guest musicians, Greg Schaber on electric guitar, mandolin, and dobro, David Adams on five-string bass and Jeff Buettner on accordion. Violet and Roberta play all acoustic guitars, Native drum and light percussion. Vickie plays all keyboards. All vocal arrangements by Raison d'Etre. In live performances, Raison d'Etre's 'little big band' accompaniment of keyboard and acoustic guitars can sometimes become no accompaniment at at all when they sing Shaker hymns, folk ballads, and even swing arrangements a capella to showcase their intricate vocal harmonies. More often, the audience is treated to rich vocals supported by Vickie Ellis on piano with Violet Rae Downey and Roberta Schultz on acoustic guitars, Native drum, and other light percussion instruments. Occasionally, Vickie adds mountain dulcimer, autoharp, and banjovie. According to Michael Embry of KENTUCKY MONTHLY, 'They play it straight in their delivery, the way it's supposed to be.'