Every year in the weeks approaching Christmas, the honkey-tonk band the Sweetback Sisters take their talents on the road up and down the east coast to spread their signature holiday cheer with the annual Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular.
Now in its 7th season, this wildly popular show has audience members returning year after year to sing classic holiday music (lyric sheets provided) as well as some lesser known gems and originals. In their own words, all the songs are presented with the Sweetback Sisters' mix of "harmony singing, rollicking Telecaster and Twin Fiddling along with a healthy dose of holiday cheer."
MFP caught up with one of the leading ladies of the band, Zara Bode, to talk about the shows on the 2015 Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular tours, the excellent venues that they're playing in, and some of the band's favorite places around these amazing East Coast towns.
Thursday, December 17
The Bell House – 149 7th Street Brooklyn, NY (tickets $15 - $20)
"This killer venue in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn has a ballroom-barn elegance, perfect for a wedding or a rock concert. This place used to be in the middle of nowhere but, over the years, dozens of restaurants and shops have popped up. I recommend Dinosaur BBQ for a quick bite before the show. I don’t always have a lot of time between the sound check and the show, but always try to make my way to The Morbid Anatomy Museum, a place to window-shop for quirky gifts and oddities."
Friday, December 18
Little Compton Community Center – 34 Commons, Little Compton, RI
"Straight outta Compton…that is if Compton were an adorable little New England town. This show is held in a sweet old-fashioned meeting hall. Some of the best cooks in the area take over the kitchen and you get a lovely dinner-and-show package."
Sunday, December 20
First Baptist Church – 190 Main Street Brattleboro, VT
"I happen to live in this little town so this show will be a doozie! After some tough years here (Hurricane Irene, then a big fire downtown) this arts-friendly town in southern Vermont is now on an upswing. So many great restaurants and shops.
Some of my favorites are:
- Boomerang – a great selection of new and used clothing and gifts.
- Three Stones– traditional Mayan cuisine. Mmmm...sangria
- Duo – this is the hot new dish in town. Brunch, dinner, cocktails. No joke. It's all good."
Monday, December 21
Christmas Tree Santas Benefit Show at the Firehouse Center for the Arts – 1 Market Square Newburyport, MA
"This show is a benefit for a non-profit called the Christmas Tree Santas, which gives out Christmas trees and ornaments to families in need in eastern Massachusetts. The restaurant on the first floor of the venue, Not Your Average Joe's, is excellent."
Tuesday, December 22
Joan Holliday's Holiday Hootenany at the Academy of Music – 274 Main Street Northampton, MA
"OUR BIGGEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR!! This is our closing night of the Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular, and we are pulling out all the stops (hint: so many surprises in store). This quirky New England town has a bustling downtown full of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Smack dab in the middle of a brimming college landscape, Northampton is the home of Smith College which has a gorgeous campus and stunning museum of art. Here are some favorite spots in and around town:
- Sip: 8 Crafts Avenue – Damn good cup of coffee; one heck of a cortado
- The Green Room: 28 Centre Street – Cocktail classics, both new and old
- Kestrel: 22 Masonic Street – Rustic, modern goods and gifts with a fantastic selection of pottery, succulents and the most exquisite home touches."
Need to know:
The Bell House - 149 7th Street, Brooklyn NY 11215 Add to MFPDinosaur BBQ - 604 Union St, Brooklyn NY 11215 Add to MFPMorbid Anatomy Museum - 424-A 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215 Add to MFPLittle Compton Community Center - 34 Commons, Little Compton, RI Add to MFPFirst Baptist Church - 190 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301 Add to MFPBoomerang - 12 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301 Add to MFPThree Stones - 105 Canal St, Brattleboro, VT 05301 Add to MFPDuo Restaurant - 136 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301 Add to MFPFirehouse Center for the Arts - 1 Market Square, Newburyport, MA 01950 Add to MFPNot Your Average Joe’s - 1 Market Square, Newburyport, MA 01950 Add to MFPAcademy of Music Theatre - 274 Main St, Northampton, MA 01060 Add to MFPSmith College - Northampton, MA 01060 Add to MFPSmith College Museum of Art - 20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063 Add to MFPSip Cafe & Coffee Bar - 8 Crafts Avenue, Northampton, MA 01063 Add to MFP
The Green Room - 28 Centre St, Northampton, MA 01063Kestrel - 22 Masonic St, Northampton, MA 01063 Add to MFP