Local Wire

Sistrum CD Release

Many local bands rush to put out a CD as soon as they have enough material. Not Sistrum. The band's debut CD, Ashes & Whispers, has been nine years in the making. Biding its time through several lineup changes and budget constraints, Sistrum continued to develop songs and tighten the master tracks in the studio. The result is a seven-song CD of hard-edged modern rock, driven by singer Wendy Rae Mason's sultry, scratchy, powerhouse pipes. Mason is the only remaining original member in Sistrum, but she's surrounded herself with solid musicians like bassist Joseph Citarello (MIA, Warhorse), guitarist Aaron Chanda (Fred Heads West), and drummer Vince Lane (Rule of 7, Wrinkle). Former Sistrum members Theresa Witter and Marie Dix also contribute keyboards and guitar to a few songs, but the highlight of the album is the presence of local rocker Tina Bailey, who supplies backing vocals for several tracks. Mason and Bailey are undoubtedly two of the Valley's most solid singers, and hearing them hammer out harmonies together induces goose bumps. Other shining moments include "Misdirected," a bluesy power ballad that exemplifies Mason's captivating, autobiographical lyricism, and "Drunk Song," which showcases the singer's whiskey-pitched wail. Aptly titled, Ashes & Whispers holds a glimpse of the band that was, and a peek at the Sistrum to come. See a bigger picture when the band plays two CD release parties in one day.
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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea