There Was a Time
Sister Wilene will take you back to the days when country music was a pocketful of heartfelt ballads and great swing songs you could dance to. From the traditions of Patsy Cline to Bob Wills, from the honky-tonks to the dance halls to the front porches, this band will take you down memory lane or perhaps introduce you to some of the greatest American music ever played. Added to the vintage country material are original songs penned by band member Roger Brown. Sister Wilene's sound is built around lead singer and rhythm guitar player Mary Sue Wilkinson. Mary Sue comes from the "old wave, new time" bands Iowa Rose and The Pets, bands that have enjoyed local, regional, and national attention. Sister Wilene puts Mary Sue out front with her crystal clear voice that can pull at your heart strings or lead you to the dance floor. Vocal duets feature Mary Sue and Roger's tight harmony singing and soulful interpretations, reminiscent of George and Tammy or Dolly and Porter. From Appalachia to Europe and back again Roger Brown has been singing, playing and writing country music his entire life. Roger has worked as a session singer and guitarist, and has recorded and/or toured with Jerry Rafferty, Ringo Starr, Jo Ann Kelly, Freddy Fender, and Link Wray among others. He was a founding member of the band Stealers Wheel. He also wrote the music and lyrics for Ringo Starr's children's release "Scouse the Mouse." An accomplished songwriter, Roger's songs are a perfect fit with Sister Wilene's old time country and swing music and his telecaster electric guitar playing has just the right amount of twang and good taste. Completing the line up for Sister Wilene are folks like Joe Wilson, well known for his lightning quick virtuosity on steel guitar and his work with his "home band" of Steppin' In It. Add to that the melodious playing of Michigan's most in demand accordionista, Lauran Bittinger. Bassist Kevin Gills lays down the driving rhythm section along with drummer Roger Tarczon. All together you've got a true hoe down of inspired American music. The diverse backgrounds of the members of this "super band" allow them to approach the genre with an attitude that stays true to the music while bringing fresh energy to the stage. Named for the only female member of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys - accordion player Wilene Forrester - Sister Wilene gives a nod to the country/bluegrass/Americana tradition with a repertoire of country songs that have survived the decades, most written by someone named Hank... or Roger.