The Carper Family / Press

“I’ve been hearing about Austin trio the Carper Family for a while now, mainly from hardcore twang aficionados, so I knew I could expect some seriously beautiful old-school country roots music, but I was not prepared for how explosive these ladies were on stage! The Carper Family take old country traditions out of the closet, dust them off, and spark them up on stage. Their vocal harmonies are impeccable and really the best part about them is that they don’t see any need to gussy up the music to make it fit with today’s artists. They’re totally happy just immersing themselves in the deep well of raw country traditions, and that fidelity to something real and authentic is what’s propelled their careers forward so quickly. Their 2013 album was a grassroots success, bringing them press from No Depression, Folk Alley,and Vintage Guitar Magazine, plus a guest spot on Prairie Home Companion. Pretty impressive, and a harbinger of things to come from one of the few groups today that t”

“The CD’s title is perfect because there’s an old-fashioned feel to their rootsy songs, ranging from upbeat swing to classic country to take-no-prisoners bluegrass, all expertly played by this Austin-based trio: Melissa Carper (bass, vocals), Beth Chrisman (fiddle, vocals), and Jenn Miori (guitar, vocals). Add stellar side players, like steel guitar master Cindy Cashdollar (who also co-produced the disc), and you’ve got magic. The Carper Family offers a blend of originals and covers; and even the covers fit like a soft cotton dress....”

“They remain anchored in the 20th century, but the Carper Family's second effort moves away from an old-timey Andrews Sisters vibe and closer to the contemporary country of Emmylou Harris and bluegrass of Laurie Lewis. The local trio achieves this mostly through song choice, a ringing country-rock reading of Neil Young's "Comes a Time" for instance, but also with helping hands from the likes of Bill Kirchen on guitar, Brennen Leigh on mandolin, Emily Gimble on piano, and Lisa Pankratz on drums. Cindy Cashdollar, best known as steel guitarist for Asleep at the Wheel, co-produces, and her exquisite touch manifests itself throughout, particularly on the swinging "Bad Attitude" and a torchy reading of Floyd Tillman's "I Gotta Have My Baby Back." Even then, the sisterly harmonies of bassist Melissa Carper, fiddler Beth Chrisman, and guitarist Jenn Miori – recalling the Roches or the McGarrigle sisters – remain the band's awe-inspiring calling card. ***”

“On their debut CD, Austin's Carper Family serve up seven covers- some venerable, others obscure, all superb - and eight originals that showcase the band's musicality, instrumental and vocal chops, and sense of fun. Recorded live in the studio, bassist Melissa carper, fiddler Beth Chrisman and guitarist Jenn Miori blow the dust off a couple Gene Autry tunes, bringing each thrillingly back to life. They also reveal a good ear for lesser-known songs. In fact, the best of the covers might be Leo Rondeau's "Loving Me Like You Do," a nimble two-stepper that the Carpers make their own. It's not the last time you'll be hearing this song. But the real suprise is the quality of the group's own writing. Each member takes turns singing lead, and sister-close harmonies grace every tune. Supported by Cindy Cashdollar on dobro and steel, and by Brennen Leigh on mandolin and lead guitar, the Carpers have released a sterling debut.”

“The Carper Family is at it again with a brand new album called Old-Fashioned Gal, and it’s a family affair featuring The Carper Family troika of Melissa Carper, Beth Crisman, and Jenn Miori, right beside some of the brightest talents of Austin, TX’s old-school country scene. Produced and embellished with the lonesome sounds of Grammy-winning Cindy Cashdollar‘s steel guitar, and featuring performances by Carper Family cousin (as it were) Brennen Leigh, and the famous telecaster of notorious Commander Cody guitar player Bill Kirchen, Old-Fashioned Gal works like a sampler of the defiant spirit amongst Austin’s roots musicians still fighting for life in between encroaching condominium complexes and California incursion.With aptitude, The Carper Family girls can shift from Western Swing, old-school country, folk, covers and originals, embellishing it all with tasteful instrumentation and exquisite three-part harmony.”

"Back When" is a roots-Country, lover's lament from The Carper Family. With beautiful vocal harmonies and expert musicianship, "Back When" (from the album of the same name) takes listeners on a musical journey to back when Country music was fresh and new. Like a modern day Andrews Sisters singing covers of Bob Wills, these three Southern sirens (Melissa Carper, Beth Chrisman and Jenn Miori) evoke feelings from another era. No electric guitars, no vocal effects, no post production trickery; The Carper Family delivers hearfelt and well honed roots Country at its best. Singing of love's later stages, after the bloom has left the rose; The Carper Family wonders aloud why the love letters no longer come. Pondering love's fading passions, they sing "why can't back when happen again." Many critics of modern country music may be tempted to ask that same question. But thanks to the Carper Family "Back When" can indeed happen again.

“Ever wonder why Austin never spawned a female answer to hillbilly Wayne Hancock? Check out the Carper Family. In spite of their youth, Melissa Carper (bass), Beth Chrisman (fiddle), and Jenn Miori (guitar) blend their voices immaculately, kick some shit when they have to, and write warm and enticing songs that sound like they were new 50 years ago. Guests Cindy Cashdollar and Brennen Leigh light the way.”

“In three-part harmony, the trio —will entertain with renditions of country standards and original compositions. Musically, they’ve combined their talents to create something unique. Originally formed in 2010, The Carper Family took a weekly residence at the legendary Hole-in-the-Wall, although each member by this time had gained a significant following with their voice and instrument with some of the best local acts. That same year the group released their debut album “Come See Yer Ol’ Daddy.” In 2011, the band released its second album, “Back When,” winning the award for best country album by the 11 Independent Music Awards in 2012. The trio’s latest album “Old-Fashioned Gal,” contains a wider range of musical styles as compared to their previous releases, including a cover of Neil Young’s “Comes a Time."Still playing primarily in Austin and in clubs all over Texas, the band is steadily gaining a following across the country and somewhat on an international le”

"The Carper Family isn't a family by blood, though they sing like one. The three are talented instrumentalists and vocalists who play bluegrass, old-time country and swing in a style that recalls the tight acoustic ensembles of the 1920s and '30s but with exquisitely tight three-part vocals and original material. The result is a sound that's both old and new, a fresh recasting of music that combines the emotional directness of their musical forebears with contemporary subjects."

“The Carper family impresses me in much the same way that the Riders in the Sky did 30 odd years ago. I was impressed with the way that a small group could deliver such a complete sound. Everyone sang lead and was capable of perfectly blended harmonies, all the while supporting the vocals with instrumental backup, at times flashy and at times subtle, but always appropriate. The Riders added a fourth member several years back which allows a moment to catch one’s breath from time to time, but the Carpers are still doing it the hard way and doing it very well. Their range of material is most impressive for such a young group, reflecting the various influences of the members, but whatever the genre, it is represented authentically and authoritatively. The harmonies are spot on and the instrumentals always fit. I hope that their career trajectory matches that of the Riders. They have what it takes. ”

Tom Pittman (Austin Lounge Lizards, KUT Folkways host)

“The aesthetic of Hank Williams' music is not particularly alive in Hank II or III. But it lives on regardless. In the case of the Carper Family, it resides among three harmonizing women from Austin, Texas, who play waltzes, swings and bluegrass tunes on acoustic instruments. If you've ever gotten tingly listening to the pedal-steel cry during a Hank tune, these ladies might be your jam.”

“This female trio is not a ‘family’ in the accepted terms, as Melissa Carper, Beth Chrisman, and Jenn Miori are not related. They are three talented country/bluegrass singers and pickers from Austin who came together in 2009 to form their own ‘family’ group to sing and play their own take on western ballads, swing tunes and even a touch of bluegrass with gorgeous three-part harmonies. Sounding a little like a female version of say the Sons of the Pioneers or Riders in the Sky, they blend in their own self-penned originals with long lost gems from the far distance past. Their own songs mix in humour and even a little pathos that comes through on “Don’t Treat Me Too Nice” and “Who R U Texting 2Nite?” They are joined musically by Brennen Leigh (mandolin, lead guitar), and Cindy Cashdollar (Dobro, steel guitar) to add extra colour to the simple but effective arrangements. This is an album that I’ve derived great listening pleasure from … well worth seeking out.”

“Most family bands evolve from actual family members who happen to be musical, eventually moving from the living room to the road. The Carper "Family" is a bit of a misnomer, though there is a connection. The band is comprised of three Austin women who each previously led their own groups. Each of them also grew up with families who played music. So as you might guess, they feel like a family. Melissa Carper plays doghouse bass, Beth Chrisman is on the fiddle, and Jenn Miori plays guitar. Each can sing lead and their three distinctively different voices offer variety for the listener. In fact, their voices are so different that their fabulous blended trio harmonies catch you off guard. It is hard to tell who is singing what part, but that's a good sign. Harmony is supposed to sound like matched parts and there voices move together as one. As an added treat, Cindy Cashdollar guests on the album on steel guitar and Brennen Leigh is featured on mandolin. ...”

“With their second album set for release later this month, 2013 might be the year of the Carper Family. Old Fashioned Gal finds the trio’s harmonies Andrews-Sisters-tight, their musicianship impeccable, and the songs equally balanced between Fifties nostalgia and 21st century contemporary.”

“The Carper Family is my favorite Texas band, and I know my high opinion of them is shared by many. This three-woman group performs in a traditional acoustic style, and their repertoire combines great country tunes with truly excellent original material. Much of that original material comes from bass player Melissa Carper, the band’s main songwriter, whose songs range from the deeply moving to the profoundly quirky. Melissa, Beth and Jenn take turns singing lead. Each possesses a distinctive voice, and their threepart harmonies blend sweet-and-smooth with honkytonk for a gorgeous sound.”

Gary Mortensen (Texas Swing Kings)

“The Carper Family’s highly energetic Old Fashioned Gal glides and gallops with unwavering gusto. Conventional wisdom suggests the popular local roots band should break big any day. Particularly notice bassist Melissa Carper’s singular vocals, absolutely stunning at a recent in-store at Waterloo Records. See for yourself: The Carpers are on the road throughout the U.S. this summer. Go and yours will be money well spent.”

“The Carper Family illustrates the unfair, unreasonable amount of talent, and specifically female talent, that can be found in Austin, TX on any given night. And that is what The Carper Family does; they are a working, local band, playing many nights a week at various Austin venues. Back When proves that this local band deserves more national, and international attention.”

“The Carper Family’s second outing is superlative. Produced by Cindy Cashdollar, who also plays steel guitar, dobro and other instruments, it features such guests as Brennen Leigh, Lisa Pankratz, Bill Kirchen, Emily Gimble, Noel McKay and Danny Levin, but it’s Carper, Chrisman & Miori’s killer three part harmonies that make this so special, plus they have really great ears. Though only six of the 15 tracks are originals, the covers, which range from Brennen Leigh's Precious Jewel to Vida Wakeman’s Boxcar Blues (Hello Sunshine) from a 2009 Jeff & Vida album, via Floyd Tillman’s 1949 I’ve Gotta Have My Baby Back, Neil Young’s 1978 Comes A Time, John Lilly’s 2003 Last Chance To Dance, Larry Sparks’ 2005 City Folks Call Us Poor and Katie Euliss’ Bad Attitude from a 2007 Truckstop Honeymoon album, plus Aunt Rose by Gina Gallina, who was in The Camptown Ladies with Carper and Chrisman and I’ve Tried by Alaskan bluegrasser Todd Grebe,make up a stunning patchwork quilt of”