By Lisa Morgan and Jordan Simpson
BANG!BANG! is a new all-female trio making their way to Southern California by way of Nashville, Tennessee. The vivacious, soul melting vocal blend will be opening for none other than the “Queen of Rockabilly,” Wanda Jackson at Pappy and Harriet’s this Friday followed by a sure to light your skirt on fire performance at the new Big Rock Pub in Indio, Saturday.
“Bad. Ass.” may be the only way to explain this outrageously talented group of women. The group was formed in the summer of 2016 by Vanessa Olivarez (of Granville Automatic and American Idol), Trista Mabry (of Trista and The Sweats and The Reverse Cowgirls) and former Sony recording artist, Minnie Murphy.
Together, the three women of Bang!Bang! have worked with and written songs for artists including Billy Currington, Sugarland, Jamie O’Neal, Wanda Jackson, Jack Ashford, Angaleena Presley, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Kenny Olson and more.
With chilling three-part harmonies in gritty songs like “Swamp Ass,” “When We Get High” and “Leavin’ Tennessee,” BANG!BANG! can only be described as the rebel love child of their influences – Janis Joplin, Fleetwood Mac, Selena, Sturgill Simpson to name a few. With all three core members being incredibly talented vocalists individually, this trinity of vocal prowess has a sultry and permeable vocal blend that sounds like it was born in the most heavenly of backwoods.
“Bang!Bang! shows are more fun than free liquor,” shares the beautiful and sassy co-founder, singer/songwriter and former American Idol contestant, Vanessa Olivarez. “We have no rules inhibiting our music, stage antics, banter, or outfits. I think more than anything, I just want this project to be about people coming together and having a badass time, both on the stage and off! I love writing and playing music with the people I love, and I want the audience to feel that energy at every performance.”
When asked how the troupe came together, Oliverez shared, “Minnie and I have known one another for a few years as co-writers, and had mentioned the idea of putting something together a while back. I met Trista through an old bandmate and we hit it off pretty instantly. I felt that Minnie’s undeniable gift for voice and keys combined with Trista’s hippie/rock guitar and smoky vocal tone would really complement each other perfectly. Like PBR and peanuts.”
“We really make sure that having a great time is number one,” added trio-mate Minnie Murphy. “We always laugh, coming up with ideas, songs, stage theatrics and improv entertainment that proves our undeniable chemistry and unbreakable friendship to all that come across our music. We’ve certainly been blessed with amazing opportunities and continued growing support from all around Nashville. Things really started taking off when we got a gig opening for legendary rockabilly artist, Wanda Jackson at Nashville’s City Winery, thanks to our manager Jordan Simpson. During our performance, we caught the ear of record producer Tim Craven. He is now mixing our debut EP, which he graciously offered to track at the prestigious 1979 recording studio.”
“We couldn’t have asked for a luckier and more fortuitous experience than meeting Tim Craven at City Winery,” Oliverez reflects. “Working with him at the helm and recording to 2-inch tape at Welcome To 1979. It was an absolute dream! I can’t wait for everyone to hear the first batch of four songs we have baked up. Start to finish, it sounds like a party – because it was.”
“We’re getting to meet so many talented people,” says Murphy. “We all enjoy collaborating so much, and love to try new things. Seems like we’re making friends everywhere we go, and that’s what this band is all about. No filter, no limit, no rules, just great music that includes everyone.”