Evergreen at the Webster Groves Farmer's market, August, 2014
Articles from Kirkwood-Webster Times and Playback Magazine
Some Chick Band
40-something moms with a passion for music
by Linda Briggs-Harty, Kirkwood-Webster Times
Moms of young kids do all kinds of things with other moms: help at school, talk on the playground, connect over coffee. Some even attain artfulness with shared scrap-booking or joint jewelry making.
Four area moms unite for a unique mission: to play music together at parties, coffeehouses and other gigs. Their foursome, called "Some Chick Band," is a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll. Then again, it's rhythm and blues, pop and some soul too.
The musical moms will strut their stuff Nov. 15 from 8 to 10 p.m. at Border's Bookstore in Sunset Hills Plaza at Watson Road and Lindbergh Boulevard. The event marks the band's first major public appearance.
Expect them to belt out the Beatles in one song, then move on to the Dixie Chicks and end up with some soothing Simon and Garfunkel. Occasionally, they'll interject a few creations of their own.
Their "Landslide" rendition originally written by Stevie Nicks and recently re-popularized by the Dixie Chicks has a hip, heartfelt energy that comes from the core. It's obvious they know firsthand what Nicks of Fleetwood Mac wrote about in her '70s' hit, "Can I sail through the changin' ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?"
"We're all 40-something moms who have a passion for music. Most of us got away from it for a long time but are having loads of fun making music now," said Webster Groves Resident Peggy Mulvihill- Lindblad. Mulvihill-Lindblad sings and plays guitar and percussion instruments with the band. She writes music as well. Husband Ed and son Jonah promote her playing, she said.
Her partners in passionate musical performance are Robin Lopate on guitar and vocals, Barb Paulick on bass, drums, keyboard and vocals and Sue Zempel on bass, guitar and flute.
Barb Paulick teaches music at Rogers Middle School in Affton where she lives with her husband, Ron, and four children. Paulick recounts with a smile the day not long ago when she and the other band members rocked in the school cafeteria after lunch.
"The students loved it," she said.
With kids underfoot, clamoring to join in the jam sessions on occasional Friday nights (they meet regularly on Thursday and some Friday mornings too), the moms make music a family affair.
This summer, they entertained friends and family at a lake house owned by Robin Lopate's parents. As usual, the kids played percussion instruments to their favorite tune, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."
The moms are modeling musical mastery, and their kids reflect it.
"I love music, too. It's a good experience to hear my mom and her friends play," said 10-year-old Angela Paulick. She sings and plays a number of instruments.
"They sound great," said seven-year-old Jonah Lindblad about his mother's band. "I'm going to play rock guitar when I grow up."
He plays several instruments as well, including the recorder, dulcimer and glockenspiel.
"We take our playing together seriously and respect each other's time," said guitarist and vocalist Robin Lopate.
Juggling jobs, family life and band practice/performance is no easy matter, but they rarely miss rehearsals, said Lopate. She lives in Kirkwood with husband Glenn and son Sam and works part-time as a quality insurance specialist. Sue Zempel lives in Webster with her husband John and four children. She teaches creative movement and gymnastics.
They linked up about three years through their kids' activities. Lopate and Zempel had kids in preschool together. At a McDonald's playdate, the two learned they shared a love of music and that both had husbands who were neurologists at Barnes. Before long, they met regularly for joint music sessions.
After a while, they welcomed Peggy Mulvihill-Lindblad into the budding band. Mulvihill-Lindblad had been praying for musical partners and knew she met her match when she spied instruments at a kid's birthday party her son attended at Sue Zempel's.
Mulvihill-Lindblad had been inspired to pick up her guitar and dust off long-dormant songwriting skills after Sept. 11, 2001. Her tribute to the tragedy, a song called "We Believe in Freedom," is performed regularly by the band.
Music teacher Barb Paulick was last to join and one of the most vocal about the band's merits.
Asked why she's dedicated to singing with a bunch of moms, she yells, "Cause we rock!"
For information about the Nov. 15 performance, call Border's at (314) 909-0300.
Momentary Girls | 07.21.07
by Gabriel Bullard, Playback Magazine
Saturday, 28 July 2007
They played "Down By The River." For over seven minutes. With extended one-note guitar solos.
Hartford Coffee Company, St. Louis
According to their flyer, the Momentary Girls are "Five local moms performing an eclectic mix of rock, folk, R&B, jazzy, and contempory (sic) cover tunes." Typically, that would mean "Mediocre bar band that happens to be all female." But after seeing them live, I know it means "One of the best baby boomer cover acts in the city."
The Momentary Girls aren't the type of band I would normally go see. I'll admit, I only went to the show for the novelty of the group. I expected to hear ‘Mom Rock' music; songs by Liz Phair, Joan Baez and Melanie. When they started playing "Sympathy for the Devil," though, I knew I was mistaken.
The most surprising thing about the Rolling Stones cover wasn't that the Momentary Girls pulled it off, it was that they were able to do what most bar bands either can't, or never try, to do; take a classic rock song and make it their own. There were no drums in the band, just acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboard and bass. Also, two members of the band were gone, leaving just a trio of moms to switch between those four instruments - five if you count the seldom-used 12-string guitar. Even with sparse instrumentation, the song came out great. They even did the "Woo-woo" background vocals. The vocals, by the way, were the strongest part of the show. (Except for the bass line on "Sittin'on the Dock of the Bay," which I've never heard a cover band play well...until now.)
The times when the show did drag were the times when the band did what was expected. Sure, the Sheryl Crow covers sounded fine, but anyone could've guessed an all mom band-from St. Louis no less-would play Sheryl Crow covers. Also, the cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young‘s "Teach Your Children" was too predictable to do anything more than bring a smile to every parent in the audience.
If the obvious song choices hurt the show, the unpredictable moves made it great. For example, given that the group had a light, 70s-inspired folk-rock sound, it would make sense that they would cover a Neil Young song. Maybe they would play "Heart of Gold" or something off of Harvest. No way, not these ladies. They played "Down By The River." For over seven minutes. With extended one-note guitar solos.
The murder-ballad jam was almost as unexpected as the basket full of percussion instruments that the band passed around while asking the audience to participate in a cover of The Beatle's "Birthday," which the Momentary Girls played for their friend who was celebrating her fiftieth that night.
The show was proof that appearances-and descriptions on flyers-can be deceiving. Next time you see members of Brentwood's Birkenstock set sipping lattes at the Bread Company, imagine them passing out maracas, playing great slide guitar and nailing the three-part harmony on "The Weight." | Gabriel Bullard