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about rebecca riots


"They blend three distinctive voices into some amazing harmonies. All there are songwriters whose catchy, thoughtful, up-tempo songs reflect a concern with the problems of living and loving in today's modern and somewhat confused world"

Dirty Linen, February/March 1999

Members:
Lisa Zeiler - vocals, guitar, mandolin
Eve Decker - vocals, guitar
Andrea Prichett - vocals, harmonica


Discography:
"Just as Sure" (2004)
"Rough Cuts" (2004) by Andrea Pritchett
"Gardener" (April 2000)
"Live at the Freight & Salvage" (1999)
"Some Folks" (1998)
"Rebecca Riots" (1995)


Rebecca Riots, an acoustic folk trio from Berkeley, CA, embodies a gentle, yet powerful energy and presence that has carries these three women from their former lives as teachers into the adventure of life on the road, and now a record deal with Appleseed Recordings. Their music reflects the intensity and compassion that exist in the meeting of the personal and political and has been called "fresh radical folk" by those familiar with the excellent harmonies, articulate guitar work, intelligent lyrics and clear social/political content of the group's songs.

Those who know Rebecca Riots, they are best loved Eve, Andrea and Lisa: three honest, funny, articulate, talented women, who come together on-stage in beautiful harmony as well as friendship.

"One thing that's really great about having signed Appleseed is that we're very much politically on the same wavelength with them," said band member Eve Decker. "But those folks are connected in terms of the music business and can distribute our music in a way that we couldn't do. It's exciting to think that -- in spite of the fact that we swim upstream and we don't choose to do what the culture proscribes in terms of success -- that we've now got this support to quite extensively expand our base. And that there are people that sympathize with our way of thinking."

From the mesas of New Mexico to the wilds of New York City, Rebecca Riots has been reaching out to audiences at festivals, cafes, colleges and private homes, and meeting with great success. They have been touring nationally since the fall of 1998, winning many new fans across the country. Named "Best Band with a Conscience" by San Francisco's alternative newsweekly, the Bay Guardian, Rebecca Riots has shared stages with Utah Phillips, Cheryl Wheeler, Rhiannon, Martin Sexton, Nina Gerber, and many others.

To celebrate the release of their fourth CD, "Gardener," the band returns to the road, beginning in April with shows in the Northwest region of the country and continuing to tour the U.S. full-time starting in September. The new CD, which will be nationally distributed through Appleseed and Koch, includes 15 previously-unrecorded songs, as well as an updated version of "Sing to the Angels." The CD's title song reflects the bands' desire to work on the personal as well as the political. "It's about taking responsibility for ourselves and how each of us is like a garden," said Decker, who wrote "Gardener," "and how we don't have to be totally influenced by our culture, we can make choices and be the gardener."

Rebecca Riots is unapologetic in their approach to political and social concerns, and their trademark is a kind of honestly rarely seen in the "business" of music. The band frequently does benefits, and have performed at marches, rallies and other events in support of environmental issues,homeles people, prisoners' rights, police accountabilitiy, and a host of other grassroots community organizations. They are intensely connected to community groups and their commitment to these issues is reflected in their songwriting. Rather than feeling sad or burdened by the the substance of these songs, audiences leave Rebecca Riots show feeling inspired and restored by an underlying optimism that is at the hear of their music.

Even the name lets you know that this is no ordinary band. The Rebecca Riots actually happened in South Wales in 1843. Reacting to an oppressive system of tollgates that had been imposed, the people organized themselves to go out under cover of night and systematically dismantled the tollgates. They called themselves "the Rebeccas," inspired by a matriarch from the Old Testament. They were nonviolent, but determined in their efforts. Ultimately, the British government sent in troops to preserve the tollgates and the conflicts that followed were called the "Rebecca Riots." Lisa, Eve and Andrea chose the name because it suggests grassroots, nonviolent, women-identified activism that the band supports in various ways, especially with their music.

Relatively new to the folk world, Rebecca Riots met seven years ago when Andrea and Eve were counselors at a summer camp. At first they just got together to swap songs and enjoy each other's music, but then Andrea invited her guitar teacher, Lisa, to come to a practice and a band was born. Bringing together different musical influences, within six months they were playing at local venues. Eve comes from a family of talented musicians and enjoys the likes of Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Cat Stevens. Andrea grew up singing along with records by James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, and loved the whole Motown sound. Lisa developed her skills by listening to everything from punk to blues to country. All three women write songs for the band. "We write in various combinations of one and two usually," said Lisa Zeiler. " It's less common for all three of us to write, although once the original song is written, everybody creates and writes their own part on top of it."

"The point of our being together, really isn't about performing music so much," said Andrea Prichett. "It is about just enjoying music, and in the course of that getting to know each other and enjoy the healing energy of the music itself. Our first concert was in Lisa's living room. We did the songs once and we had so much fun, we did them all again. The friendship's been the primary thing, and encouraging each other to do things that we hadn't done before, and to take musical chances and such."

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