The Hello Strangers / Press

“You might take a listen to the folkish harmonies of sister duo the Hello Strangers and put them in the Americana brand. That would be the correct classification, given today's musical climate. However, if you listen very closely, you will hear a sound that is similar to that of Emmylou Harris or Sweethearts of the Rodeo -- both of whom were regulars on the country radio airwaves back in the late 1980s.”

““To be honest, I wrote this after I got in an argument with my fiance,” Brechyn tells CMT Edge. “It was a really stupid argument, and I don’t recall what it was about, but it was one of those things that happens when you and someone you love — whether it’s a friend, your significant other or a sibling that you are in a band with — just aren’t hitting on all cylinders, and you take things that are bothering you in other parts of your life out on them. She continues, “Well, we got in this argument, or as we like to call them, ‘discussions,’ and I felt like I had ruined the evening. The song is a little more dramatic than what actually happened. No one was trying to show someone to the door or left out in the cold, but what better way to harness those feelings after a fight than to write a honky-tonk song?””

“Sibling outfits always stand out whenever it comes to harmony and synchronicity. It’s a forgone conclusion really that no matter what the style -- from the Everly Brothers to the Clancy Brothers, the Andrews Sisters to the Secret Sisters, encompassing practically every family bands that’s made its name while crafting pure pop. The latest pairing to prove their mettle are Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace Smith, a duo that calls themselves The Hello Strangers. Even if they hadn’t been sisters, they would still be worthy of praise; as demonstrated on their eponymous debut, they boast a classic sound and style that already finds them sounding like country royalty...”

“3. 'The Hello Strangers,' The Hello Strangers (IMI Records): This Oct. 21 CD is the debut album from sisters Brechen Chace (lead/backing vocals, accordion, harmonica and vibra-slap) and Larissa Chace-Smith (lead/backing vocals and acoustic guitar), who come from a musical family. Folks who enjoy great harmony vocals and old-fashioned country music will dig The Hello Strangers.”

“#115 on No Depression's Top Albums of 2014”

“Top 100 Albums of 2014-#44 – The Hello Strangers - The Hello Strangers (5-23-14) - The Hello Strangers had a slew of tunes written in a cottage off South Congress Street in Austin, Texas that they squeezed into the backseat of a rural Pennsylvania-bound car along with lives, dogs and Larissa’s husband (not necessarily in that order). The result is a self-titled release for The Hello Strangers. - See more at: http://thealternateroot.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2863:top100-2650-albums&catid=208:what-s-trending&Itemid=268#sthash.dUPTXnRv.dpuf”

“Folk Alley Listener Poll - Best of 2014-#38”

“Top 10 Songs of the Week-#09 Que Sera Sera - The Hello Strangers (from the album The Hello Strangers) - Doris Day had so much fun with the 1956-penned tune “Que Sera, Sera” that she featured the track in three of her films. The Hello Strangers watch the song ride Americana waves as the pair gaze from an audio widow’s-walk waiting to see which way the wind will blow their fates, - See more at: http://thealternateroot.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2838:alt-root-top-ten-songs-of-the-week-11-29-14&catid=208:what-s-trending&Itemid=268#sthash.HTbMUacA.dpuf”

“Straight outta Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, the Hello Strangers rode into Nippertown last month for their Albany debut at The Linda. Following a smart opening set by Rebel Darling, the sisters Brechyn Chace (vocals, tambourine, harmonica, accordion) and Larissa Chace Smith (vocals, guitar) stepped up to the microphone and led their band through a twang-filled set of “bona fide Americana,” as they call it. From heartbreaking tear-in-your-beer ballads to rousing roadhouse honky tonkin’, the gals wove their sublime sibling harmonies into a web that entranced the crowd from start to finish. - See more at: http://www.nippertown.com/2014/11/11/live-the-hello-strangers-the-linda-101014/#sthash.JpPaC7Dm.dpuf”

“Country music is a style of folk music, as is blues, bluegrass, and Celtic. Much of the contemporary country coming out over the last decade has been infused with more pop than folk. Country has taken on the flavor of more commercial pop corporate America. Modern country essentially came off the evolution of the Nashville scene building upon rock and pop electric and repetitive hooks, while folk for the most part stayed the path of social conscience and grass roots rudimentary instruments. Every now and then a country act pops up sparking our interest to put in heavy rotation. The Hello Strangers hailing from Pennsylvania have done just that. While the backbone of their sound may of the country flavor, they do an excellent job of blending in folk. The band's latest self-titled set is anchored by Larissa Chace Smith and Brechyn Chace. The two sisters have a very warm and inviting sound and do not disappoint in the harmony department.”

“Sisters Brechyn Chase and Larissa Chase Smith wrap their pleasing two-part vocals around a range of solid originals embracing country (“Ruined”, “Holy Unholy”), folk (“Never Roam Again”) and smart, subtle roots-bound pop (“Changes”). Guest Jim Lauderdale contributes with pen and vocals on a most likely airplay candidate- the haunting “What You Don’t Know”.”

“Named in Top 10 of 2014... "Sisters Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace Smith have teamed up as the The Hello Strangers to record one of the top debut albums of 2014 with their self-titled CD."”

“This Oct. 21 CD is the debut album from sisters Brechen Chace (lead/backing vocals, accordion, harmonica and vibra-slap) and Larissa Chace-Smith (lead/backing vocals and acoustic guitar), who come from a musical family. It was produced by Steve Ivey, who adds numerous instruments (along with drummer Tommy Harden and other players). The sisters' grandfather sang with Doris Day in the 1940s.The album features 11 originals and two covers, including Day's immortal "Que Sera Sera." My current favorites include sparkling sibling harmonies throughout, the traditional-sounding "Ruined," the regretful-sounding "Holy Unholy," an Everly-flavored "The World Knows Far Better" and the slightly slowed-down Doris Day cover. Folks who enjoy great harmony vocals and old-fashioned country music will dig The Hello Strangers. Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2014/10/30/5885444_boo-tiful-music.html?sp=/99/152/&rh=1#storylink=cpy”

“The Hello Strangers, who are sisters Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace Smith, bring country, folk, and Americana storytelling to their songs, songs which seem to fit in well with the gathering that autumn brings. After spending time in the thriving music scene of Austin, Texas, the sisters brought their music back to what they describe as their Pennsytucky roots. Their self-titled album includes love songs, story songs, and the rather appropriate for Halloween tale they tell in Conococheaague. All this shows the sisters’ song writing skills to be as accomplished as their harmonies. Other musicians who sit in include names that may be familiar, including Jim Lauderdale on vocals, Wanda Vick on viola, and Steve Ivey on a range of instruments, from keyboards to mandolin. - See more at: http://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/stories/music-autumn-season-telling-stories.html#sthash.XJ401gQc.dpuf”

“THE HELLO STRANGERS, The Hello Strangers (IMI): 3½ stars Pennsylvania-based sisters Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace Smith call their music “Original Pennsyltucky Fried Sister Folk,” an apt description of this solid, harmony-laden album, which twines classic country style (think Patsy Cline and Kitty Wells) with contemporary songwriter sensibilities (a la Shawn Colvin and Mindy Smith). They augment their songs with a haunting rendition of Jim Lauderdale’s “What You Don’t Know,” with Lauderdale himself joining the gospel-tinged harmonies, and a sweetly nostalgic stroll through the Doris Day hit “Que Sera, Sera.” thehellostrangers.com”

“Here's a list of some new CD releases for the week of Oct. 21: Foo Fighters _ "Sonic Highways" Aretha Franklin _ "Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics" Rory Gallagher _ "Irish Tour '74" (Bonus Tracks) Jenn Grant _ "Compostela" Laura Hackett _ "Love Will Have Its Day" The Hello Strangers _ "The Hello Strangers"”

“The songs come off more like stories which are told with beautiful harmonies and superb instrumentation. If you didn’t know who you were listening to and the song “What You Don’t Know,” which was written by and features an appearance by Jim Lauderdale, came on you would swear it was Fleetwood Mac. This speaks highly of the Strangers ability to craft a song from start to finish. “Never Roam Again” starts off with a striking duel acoustic guitar piece and features a haunting violin throughout the song. Everything that is included in each song is there for a purpose. The music compliments the harmonies and the harmonies compliment the stories. My favorite parts of the record come when the duo shows off their ability to play a true blooded country song. “What it Takes to Break a Heart” is a country shuffle complete with steel guitar and lyrics about whiskey, wine and beer. “Ruined” is another country gem that pays tribute to country music when it was country music.”


“Also Out: Amaranthe, “Massive Addictive” (Spinefarm); Billy Boy Arnold, “The Blues Soul of Billy Boy Arnold” (Stony Plain); Rory Block, “Hard Luck Child” (Stony Plain); The Blues Magoos, “Psychedelic Resurrection” (Kayos); Andrea Bocelli, “Opera” (Decca/Sugar); Boyz II Men, “Collide” (BMG); Eliot Bronson, “Eliot Bronson” (Saturn 5); Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls, “Soul Brothers” (Catfood); Cold War Kids, “Hold My Home” (Downtown); Brad Colerick, “Tucson” (Back 9); Dennis DeYoung, “Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx Live in Los Angeles” (Frontiers); D. Edward, “Love Is” (10th & Clay); Elliott Brood, “Work and Love” (Paper Bag); Derek Fawcett, “Feels Better” (self-released); The Hello Strangers, “The Hello Strangers” (IMI);”

“The result is a self-titled release for The Hello Strangers. The quiet of winter and the lifeless body of a “Caribou” match the stillness as The Hello Strangers’ voices call for the peace of more snow. They admit to looking at their past ‘young naïve hands’ knowing “The World Knows Far Better”, dig deep to find their classic country inner-brawler with ‘a small part of me always looking for a fight’ in “Ruined” and roll in on a thunder cloud to proclaim “I’m a fever…before the drugs set in, before relief begins’ as they head for opeopen ground in “Runaway”. Rather than bore you with their version of how the experiment of traveling to Austin to write songs and then heading back home worked out, The Hello Strangers offer a show-and-tell full album listen of what that sounds like. - See more at: http://thealternateroot.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2698:otr-100914&catid=208:what-s-trending&Itemid=268#sthash.Itp9i5OR.dpuf”

“There are harmonies, and then there are sibling harmonies. The sister duo The Hello Strangers say they got their name partially from a one-off album by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, called "Not For Kids Only." On it, there is a version of "Arkansas Traveler," and the between-verses repartee includes "Hello, stranger" repeated between punchlines. Larissa Chace Smith and Brechyn Chace thought that the friendly, folksy feel to the song matched their style of music...”

“The sister duo’s self-titled album (due October 21) is one of the year’s strongest debut albums. Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace Smith serve up a delightful collection of songs, ranging from the raucous singalong “What It Takes to Break A Heart” to the honky-tonking “Ruined” to a sweet version of “Que Sera, Sera,” which pays tribute to the sisters’ grandfather, who sang with Doris Day in the ‘40s. And there’s an appearance from Jim Lauderdale (on “What You Don’t Know”), which is always a bonus.”

“The Hello Strangers will release their self-titled debut album on Oct. 21. No doubt their clever songwriting and spellbinding harmonies will cause a stir.”

“The Hello Strangers have a beautiful sound. There’s just something about siblings—their voices mix really well. Not only do The Hello Strangers sing so nicely, they make my station sound great!”

Manuel Davila of KCCT – AM Radio Station, Corpus Christi, TX

“The Hello Strangers have received a lot of requests and great feedback from the listeners. We give them 21 spins each week. They have a great sound. I like them a lot.”

George Scavola of WEAG Radio Station, Starke, FL

“Actually, purity is a pretty prevalent piece of both The Hello Strangers as a band and The Hello Strangers as an album. No matter what they do, you believe them, and no matter how vengeful some of their words are, you support them. Maybe it’s the harmonies. Or maybe it’s the writing. Or maybe it’s the beauty in voice. Or maybe it’s the raw talent. Or maybe it’s all of that stuff combining to make one big pot of greatness.”

“And here we have a pair of sisters whose grandpa sang with Doris Day yet are hip enough to get John Leventhal to co-write something for them with producer Jim Lauderdale. The perfect pair to make post modern down home music as their influences go beyond those just stated to also intersect with the Carter Family and Jerry Garcia off shoot projects. Not sounding like something processed through a meat grinder, their Austin by way of Pennsylvania and back sound is folkie/folk-rock supreme that sounds like it’s from the heart throughout. A total antidote and tonic for jaded ears that need some organic nourishment, this set is breathing proof the heartland still has plenty of heart. Killer stuff.”

“Twang Nation names us as one of the 21 Performances To Catch at AmericanaFest 2014! "Sisters Larissa Chace Smith and Brechyn Chace hail from the foot of the Appalachian mountains, due north of the Mason-Dixon Line , in Mercersburg, PA. They ended up in Austin where they worked their craft in the rich music scene helped hone their harmony-rich folk and roots rock spirit.”

"This album is delightful, soulful and weaves a mystic spell with sonic beauty and storied lyrics. Great to buy this one."

“On What It Take To Break A Heart: "Bluesy, rhythmic and completely captivating. The rockabilly groove is spiced with acoustic passages and quasi-shouted vocal moments. Feisty females on the rampage."”

“From the rural terrain of Pennsylvania located between Hagerstown, MD and as state park dedicated to one of the worst US Presidents, James Buchanan, comes this sister act complete with rhythm section and lead guitar. The two sisters harmonize like sisters should with one adding some acoustic guitar and the other focusing on vocals with a touch of percussion and button accordion. And they all play Country and Western music the way I like to hear it, with this focus on the Western featuring those scrumptious harmonies along with honkytonk rhythms and crisp lead guitar. They rock out at times, pull back on others while smoothly transitioning betwen the more quiet and the more raucous songs of their catalog. The quieter songs struggled to stay above the din of a typically loud Saturday night crowd and they may have adjusted their set a bit more to alleviate this. But aside from that, they did everything right and easily won this large crowd over, at least those listen.”

“They are just – for lack of a more sophisticated term – Damn Good. Take a listen to a cut like “Chances,” and if you are not totally hooked by their spellbinding harmony, your hearing must not be working right. It’s a sonically brilliant cut – from start to finish, one that simply needs to be heard. Ditto that for the Appalachian feel of “The World Knows Far Better,” where the harmony is chilling, as is the harmonica work from Brechyn. The sisters even match musical wits and talent with the incredible Jim Lauderdale on his gem “What You Don’t Know,” which they keep as haunting as his 1990s original.”

“With upcoming release of debut album, sister act The Hello Strangers wants to be known”

“http://issuu.com/airplaydirect/docs/thedirectbuzz_0114 pg. 21 Lives of “Strangers” By Elsie Sycamore For the past several issues, The Direct Buzz has been following Americana duo The Hello Strangers, chronicling their AirPlay Direct “Win An Americana Record Deal” contest win in 2012, and their subsequent trip to Nashville this past October to record with Steve Ivey at Sound Kitchen Studios. Sisters Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace Smith have come a long way since 2012, with Larissa’s new baby, all new band members, and now, a long-awaited debut album on the way. As we await the album release planned for early 2014, The Direct Buzz wanted to delve deeper into the lives of the sisters and explore (dare we say pry into?) the array of emotions surrounding the buildup to their album release.”

“Pg. 23 http://issuu.com/airplaydirect/docs/thedirectbuzz_1113 The last time The Direct Buzz checked in with Americana duo The Hello Strangers (September 2013 Issue), sisters Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace Smith were preparing for their first of several trips to Sound Kitchen Studios in Nashville to work with producer Steve Ivey on their first full-length release. The sisters were paired up with Ivey when they won AirPlay Direct’s “Win An Americana Record Deal” contest in January 2012. Since then, they have been hard at work getting everything (the contract, logistics, etc.) ready so they could get into the studio.”

“Everything can change in the blink of an eye. For sisters, Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace Smith of Americana duo The Hello Strangers, this happened in early January 2012 when an email from CEO of AirPlay Direct, Robert Weingartz, dinged into The Hello Strangers’s inbox telling them they had won the company’s “Win An Americana Record Deal” contest. “I was 6 months pregnant, sitting at the kitchen table, passively checking emails,” recalls Larissa. “The email from Robert was certainly a jolt to the system.” They were awarded the opportunity to work with Nashville producer, Steve Ivey, of IMI Music, along with many other talented industry professionals that would help the duo create a successful album through radio promotions, PR, and marketing. It was the opportunity of a lifetime for two sisters from a one-stoplight town in rural Pennsylvania. What has changed for the sisters since their big win is by no means your typical path to success. From giving birth...(see p”

“Hell hath no fury quite like a woman scorned. Such seems to be the mantra of Mercersburg, Pa.'s The Hello Strangers, however clich? that age-old adage may appear to be. Actually, their latest six-song effort, "Introducing Max Schmidt" (released in 2010), is Exhibit A for how easily that phrase is able to translate into the music world with grace and power. Sisters Larissa Chace Smith and Brechyn Chace aren't just mad -- they are stinkin' mad, and they have no problem with expressing such scathing anger in tunes filled with musical backdrops that are heavy on pop-country and words that are bursting at the seams with poignancy and command.”

“AirPlay Direct is proud to announce that “The Hello Strangers” have taken home the grand prize package for the “APD Win an Americana Record Deal” contest. “It is hard to describe how it feels to win an Americana record deal after years of gigging and self-promotion at the grassroots level,” says Larissa of The Hello Strangers. “Just being in the Top 5 with the caliber of artists we were paired with was an honor alone. We feel we have just won the contest of our lives, and are incredibly grateful and excited to work with the team that AirPlay Direct has assembled for us.” “The Hello Strangers have such a unique sound that cuts right at the roots of the Americana genre. Fresh, innovative structures with unforgettable vocals,” says Robert Weingartz, Chairman and CEO of AirPlay Direct. To discover broadcast quality recordings of their independent project, visit www.airplaydirect.com/thehellostrangers.”

“Then there’s the random chance find that turns you onto something you really love and makes the drudgery more than worth it. That’s what happened with The Hello Strangers, an independent alt.country/folk rock band out of the unlikely location of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, a two-stoplight town just this side of the Maryland border. I began streaming their EP Introducing Max Schmidt and was totally flabbergasted. It was better than anything I’d heard in a long time. After several relatively insane conversations (mostly about various retro desert foods), a package arrived at my door bearing a rubber-stamped cowboy boot and a Mercersburg postmark. Like a kid at Christmas, I ravenously tore into the oddly pregnant bubble-wrap envelope to discover not just Max Schmidt, but a package of pistachio pudding mix. Ok, I admit, I liked these gals already, but I assure you this review was in no way influenced by any attempts at bribery, no matter how randomly awesome.”

“Old Styles, New Voices: Young Bluegrass Musicians A Younger Generation of Pickers are Cropping Up, Keeping the Spirit of Bluegrass Music Alive and Well. by Greg Yost + photos by Jamie Turner, Jason Turner and Ryan Smith, Ryan Smith Photography • • • The drawing wail of a strummed fiddle; the low-pitched, thumping flair of an upright bass; and the finger-plucking twang of the banjo. The stringed, acoustic sounds of traditional American bluegrass music are deeply rooted in the folk songs brought to the New World by European immigrants, many of whom settled in the Appalachian Mountain Range stretching through parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland, including Washington County.”

"We heard a sister group on a local radio station -- the Ginn Sisters -- this roots, folky thing -- and we were like, we can totally do this. We have to do this." So they started singing songs together in that genre and found that it worked; they were able to write a lot of songs fairly quickly, with a repertoire of a couple dozen originals to date. In high school, Chace-Smith played folk rock in the vein of the Indigo Girls; by college, she was listening to all genres; and then she studied reggae extensively for her graduate work. "I grew up in an age when country music was so under the radar," she said, adding that most people she knew would comment that they "listen to everything but country." But country is in the midst of a renaissance, she said. Americana music is huge in Austin, and now all over the country. "The scene is really inspiring to us. The Americana aesthetic -- we sort of settled into that. ... I feel like we've found a home in this genre."

“Such is the case with The Hello Strangers. I have two words: Love ‘em! Here’s why. The first thing I thought of when I heard the vocals was Ani Difranco. That eventually wore off and gave way to me lapsing into a Karin Bergquist coma. The Chace sisters–Larissa and Brechyn–have been writing songs together since about 2006. They added Dave Holzwarth (bass), Kevin Shannon (guitar), and Katie O’Neil (drums) to round out their line-up in what we have in the Introducing Max Schmidt EP. Or I’m assuming it’s supposed to be an EP; there are just 6 tracks, so hopefully a full-length release is in the works. Great band. I hope they put out more material soon.”

“The band's name is The Hello Strangers, but the two principal members are anything but strangers - they're sisters. Brechyn Chace and her sister, Larissa Chace Smith, decided to pool their musical talents a few years ago. The result of the merger so far has been a band, live dates, a move to another state, an EP and now a tour that brings them to Philadelphia on Dec. 1 for a show at the Grape Room.”

“Larissa Chace Smith and Brechyn Chace have always wanted to be in a band. After moving back from Austin, Texas, to their hometown of Mercersburg a few years ago, the sisters’ dream became a reality with the creation of The Hello Strangers. Adding to their dream, the group’s first album, “Introducing Max Schmidt,” has just been completed. Coming together “We were inspired by the music down there,” Smith said. “All we listened to (in Texas) was country.””

“The music of The Hello Strangers takes me into another decade, maybe into a black and white movie set in the Appalachians or Hill Country of Texas, where the women are tough and passionate. It's spooky, got some gorgeous harmonies and just the right amount of twang.”

“Even over the phone, the sister songwriters-Brechyn and Larissa-and singers of local Mercersburg band The Hello Strangers, have a captivating presence that transfers just as well on the phone as it does in their music. Powerfully sung lyrics hold emotion like a rain catcher, saturating every word with meaning and quenching the musical thirst of devoted fans and first-time listeners alike. Talking to the sisters was captivating, their effervescent personalities and sisterly antics made talking to them just as enjoyable as listening to their music.”

“The Hello Strangers, a local band based in Mercersburg, PA, is currently promoting its new album entitled Introducing Max Schmidt. The band began in 2007 as a duo comprised of sisters Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace Smith. Larissa and Brechyn agreed to answer a few questions for The Billboard.”