"Sometimes we sit down and say, 'what's the weirdest harmony we can sing here that will work?'" says Kristyn Osborn, the oldest of the three sisters who make up the trio. It's an approach that makes for some of the most scintillating harmonies in country or any other genre of music, and it's an approach that permeates everything they do. Rest assured there is nothing ordinary about their approach to music.
THE WHOLE SHeBANG embraces all the possibilities of present-day country, walking down classic country lanes and roaring down turbo-charged highways. The former is personified by "This Woman Needs," an in-the-pocket-waltz that provides a sketch of love that manages to be both poignant and achingly real. The latter turns up in "Cause I Like It That Way," which takes attitude with a capital "A" and pushed it over the top. In-between there are "Still Holding Out For You," a slow, sad look at lost love, "Little Good-byes," with its infectious feel and arresting harmonies, and "Dancing With Angels," a sweet and soaring look at love's possibilities. SHeDAISY casts as wide a net as any popular country act when it comes to subject matter but the collection is held firmly together by the "slice-of-life" reality of the songs and by the collective personality that is SHeDAISY.
"We have tough songs, sarcastic songs, soft songs, and gentle songs," says Kristyn. "We cover the gamut. But we can honestly say they come from true, real feelings." Kristyn is SHeDAISY's songwriting force; she wrote or co-wrote every song on the record. Influenced by an eclectic assortment of writers including, among others, Stephen Sondheim, Mike Reid, and Sting, she writes songs that are as inventive as the harmonies they inspire. And SHeDAISY is living proof that it hasn't all been done when it comes to three-part harmonies. Kristyn, Kelsi and Kassidy are seldom predictable, looking for the combination of their voices that best sets off the mood of each song.
The approach is one that asked a great deal of a team headed by producer Dann Huff. "Dann was definitely the right producer for us," Kristyn says. "He took our outlines and just took the whole thing to another level." The CD sound brings the punch and non-textures of the best of today's pop and rock to a country sound that pushes both the lyric and sonic envelopes. The result - adventurous, freewheeling and richly textured - is pure SHeDAISY.
In fact, it was a challenge for singers, producer and engineer alike to best present songs like "Little Good-byes," where the background vocals come into the forefront on the chorus and "Before Me And You," where the vocals weave seamlessly in and out of each other. "We didn't have anybody telling us, 'You can't do this' and 'You can't do that,'" says Kassidy. "We had a lot of freedom, that was the cool part about it." The sense of freedom and exploration carried over even into promotion for SHeDAISY's debut. In a pioneering move, Lyric Street Records has offered a replacement for the traditional radio tour, where artists traditionally visit local radio stations and do acoustic performances often in conference rooms over pizza. The label instead introduced SHeDAISY to radio by way of a 35-mm film documentary shown in private screenings at local theaters. Directed by David Hogan, whose film credits include work on Aliens III, Batman Forever and Barbed Wire, and whose video direction credits include Shania Twain, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge and Billy Joel, the film provides in-depth personal and musical looks at the trio.
Kristyn, Kelsi and Kassidy Osborn are the children of the owner of a small business and a housewife. They were raised near Magna, Utah, a town outside Salt Lake City that is, according to Kassidy, "a great place to grow up." "It's a town where there are more big trucks and Wranglers and hats and belt buckles than you have ever seen," adds Kristyn. "It's a rodeo town and that's what a lot of our friends were into."
The sisters found an interest in music early on, and much of that love came from time spent in the family car. "We're what we call a 'Disneyland family,'" says Kristyn. "We'd take a yearly vacation to Disneyland in a station wagon with wood paneling, and you had my parents playing eight-track tapes. It was either show tunes, classical music, the Beatles or the Beach Boys, except every now and then we'd get Steppenwolf, because that was my Dad's thing."
Their mother taught them harmony singing to those records and all those styles of music became part of their musical lives. At 12, Kristyn went to an Alabama concert and bought a Restless Heart album and country began staking its claim on all three. It was Kelsi, though, who pioneered performing among them. "I have a picture of me at three with my first microphone and a little speaker," she says. "I started taking vocal lessons not long after that." People in their neighborhood still talk about buying tickets for the shows they put on as young girls in the neighborhood. "We made little bags of popcorn and had punch and sold tickets," says Kelsi. "It was really something."
Later she and Kassidy began singing duets at places including retirement homes and country fairs, usually accompanied by "a third-generation karaoke tape," according to Kassidy. "It was really cool to earn twenty bucks at that age by singing," says Kelsi. By the time Kristyn graduated from high school, she saw that her sisters had something worth joining and the trio was complete. What began as a theme/variety show, featuring all kinds of music and using costumes sewn by the girls' mother, eventually became country with soaring three-part harmonies.
They played gigs in the Salt Lake area and all of the western U.S., eventually performing the national anthem at Utah Jazz NBA games. But they ultimately moved to Nashville, first during the summers going back to Utah for school, then full-time to pursue a record deal. "We felt like we really had something," says Kelsi, "and that we had a dream worth pursuing." "We figured there was a void we could fit in," adds Kassidy. "Of course, when we first came, female wasn't big, groups weren't big and young wasn't big, and the feedback was that Nashville wasn't really ready for us." "But we came anyway," says Kristyn.
With one car between them, they worked similar shifts and three different department stores at Nashville's Hickory Hollow Mall, and used the bulk of their time to record and play showcases. It took several years of false starts, disappointments and struggles, but SHeDAISY finally hit on the sound, songs and support team that lead them to Lyric Street.
"We came and played 'Little Good-byes' live for lyric Street Senior VP of A&R Doug Howard and A&R Director Shelby Kennedy at the Lyric Street office. They brought us back the next day and we played for label President Randy Goodman and Sr. VP of Promotion and Product Development Carson Schreiber. From that moment on, the label felt like home for us. We had other meetings scheduled with other labels, but we cancelled them. That acceptance was it for us, and it went on from there."
Kristyn, her sisters say, brings both her songwriting skills and the in-depth knowledge of the business side of music.
Their road has been made that much easier by the support of relatives and friends. Even the name of the trio, SHeDAISY, was taken from a Native American word meaning "my sisters." In fact, during the recording of THE WHOLE SHeBANG, the girls filled a studio with messages of love and support they received from home. The support has helped SHeDAISY turn a passion into a career, and they in turn are bringing that passion to country music. Given their unique and engaging sound, country music will be the richer for it.
--- from the official SheDaisy website