If you ask her, Raven Laurendine will tell you that her voice is a bit like those of Bonnie Raitt, Chrissie Hynde, Susan Tedeschi, Adele, and Amy Winehouse. She’ll tell you this because, like the divas she points to as touchstones of style, Raven is a true contralto. In conventional terms, this means that she possesses a singing voice that covers the deepest range a woman can have; in the language of rock and roll, it means that she sounds like she can summon the Devil to the crossroads with a single note, kick his ass, steal his fire, and make his hellhounds show white while pissing themselves in submission. In opera, true contraltos are rare. And because there aren’t many roles written specifically for them, contraltos usually end up playing female villains or assume so-called “trouser roles,” vocal parts originally written for male voices compromised by castration. That’s right, contraltos are all about balls. A common saying among these wild women of opera is that they play only “witches, bitches, or britches.” Raven and the Blackbirds sound like they’ve brought all three to the party and plan to stay till well after your neighbors have called the cops.
Joe Doerr – LeRoi Brothers, Churchwood
The Blackbirds are musicians Brian Smith, Armando Reyes, and Steve Sweat, all with years of performing experience in well-known Austin bands, and variety of musical styles and genres. As well as fronted bands of their own.