Until a couple of months ago, you could meet a genuine Grammy and Country Music Association award winner for the price of a cup of coffee. Peasall Sister Sarah spent a year working at a coffee shop in tiny White House, Tenn., after graduating high school. Of course, you do remember Sarah and her sisters Leah and Hannah they're the girls whose voices were heard as three singing daughters of George Clooney's character in the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
The sisters, who began performing when they were 10, 7 and 5 years old, are now young ladies of 18 (Sarah), 15 (Hannah) and 12 (Leah), and have their first major-label CD out. "Home to You" was produced by John Carter Cash (Johnny's son). Randy Scruggs, another famous son (Earl Scruggs), also contributed to the album.
Not that the sisters need any connections to help them get noticed, since they are amazingly talented. In fact, their entire family is musical, including their other three siblings, their parents (their dad is a Baptist music minister) and their grandfather (who wrote the cut "The Old Church Yard" for the album).
The album kicks off with Sarah's title cut, inspired by a family friend's conversion to Christianity. For "Gray County Line," Sarah put words to Leah's music, cribbing the title from a sign she saw on a roadside in Arkansas.
But perhaps closest to the girls' hearts is "Logtown," written by Sarah and mother Sally about Sally's family home of Logtown, Miss., which practically disappeared from the map in the 1960s after NASA took over the area for missile testing. "To this day, there's nothing there except the cemetery where all our family is buried and the gravel road that leads down to the Pearl River," says Sarah.
For other tracks, the girls turned to tunes taught to them by their grandfather Jimmy and suggestions from producer Cash. The sprightly "Rushing Around" and "Freight Train Blues" are best known in Roy Acuff's renditions; "I Never Will Marry" is a Carter Family number; and "Fair and Tender Ladies," "The Old Account" and "Carrick Fergus" are traditional songs.
When the sisters started performing publicly, they billed themselves as "Precious," because that's what all the grown-ups at their shows called them. Now they can stand tall as The Peasall Sisters, a group poised to make a huge mark in country music.
QUIBBLES 'N BITS
Mystery Woman Dept.: If you watched the Academy of Country Music Awards on May 23, you probably spotted a lovely lady sitting with Kenny Chesney and wondered who she is. Well, his "people" aren't giving out her name, but she appeared as one of the hula girls in Kenny's video "When the Sun Goes Down," and more recently met up with Kenny again when she spent a week in Mexico City to appear in an upcoming Chesney video. Other than that, all I know is that she is from Colombia, and Kenny's posse will only say that the two are good friends.
Gettin' On Her Last Nerve Dept.: Of course, the absolute best quote from the ACM Awards came from Reba McEntire when she said: "I don't know why I was so nervous about hosting this show this year. If the Dixie Chicks can sing with their foot in their mouths, surely I can host this sucker." Now, if you're thinking that was a cheap shot, you should know that the original script for the show had a bunch of Dixie Chicks jokes in it, but the ever-gracious Reba had them all cut out. Then Dixie Chick Martie Maguire told Time magazine that "I'd rather have a small following of really cool people who get it, who will grow with us as we grow and are fans for life, than people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith." So Reba put that one joke back in.
Rough Cuts Quote of the Week: "It was heavy and smelled like mothballs." Ronnie Dunn, on a bejeweled Elvis cape that his prankster partner Kix Brooks put over Ronnie's shoulders while Ronnie was sitting on a stool and singing during a performance at the Las Vegas Hilton. By the way, Ronnie says he didn't know it was a famous Elvis cape.
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