T Sisters Singing Heaven
by Mark Damon Puckett
If Alison Krauss were multiplied by three and if there were tenth, eleventh and twelfth Muses—and then you suddenly discovered June Carter had lived again as a triplet—well, you might have a sense of the singing splendor of the T Sisters. I recently discovered Chloe, Erika and Rachel Tietjen quite by accident, but now with their “Seduction of Spring” I listen to it as one of my favorite repeats along with “The Cave” by Mumford and Sons, “Sloop John B” by The Beach Boys and “I’ll Fly Away” by Alison Krauss.
I had always been a fan of “American Tune” by Simon and Garfunkel and played it often on my trumpet, but it wasn’t until I happened upon the T Sisters harmonizing it on YouTube that I finally found some kindred folks who loved it as much as I did.
This, in turn, led me to find out about a trio of magical harmonizing sisters from California, and the next song I discovered was a live session in Humboldt of their crooning an actual poem into music called “Seduction of Spring.” The Pierian Spring is where the Nine Muses played, a place quite evoked by this live outside recording.
Euterpe was one of the Nine Muses, of song and elegiac poetry, and I guess what I would say is that we do maybe have Muses Ten, Eleven and Twelve now. You merely needed to listen to them once to know it.
I ordered their two cd’s and have been trying to get them on the radio here in Asheville with one of my poetry students who is a deejay in town. And I actually succeeded, so the T Sisters will be on Southern Sirens Tuesday evening, September 16, at 8:00 p.m. on 88.7 WNCW FM, or www.wncw.org with deejay Laura Blackley.
All of the songs are harmonized, an effortless floating through blues, folk, gospel and even a kind of slow speakeasy jazz on “But Not For You.” And all written by the Tietjens except for “Wind and Rain” on Bring it Back and “American Tune” on Kindred Lines. In this sense all of the songs are really poems first, odes to song, as it were. The word “odein” means to sing. I think it would be rather amazing to see these ladies live, and it seems they are touring around here and there, having just opened for Amos Lee.
Okay, I need to go play “Seduction of Spring” again. This is my poetic salute to some beautiful rising voices.
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