The Local Girls come out swinging! Formed on a summer’s night in Athens, Ohio in 1988, the three singers—Brenda Catania, Gay Dalzell, and Mimi Hart—had all been touring and recording for years and were ready to pour their energies into some music that was, well, local. Although their musical experiences were varied, all three shared an enthusiasm for close harmony, for the ineffable thrill of creating a smooth or jumping song, chord by chord. Each woman remains stylistically distinctive, but together they create a vibrant, balanced blend—and they have contagious fun doing it.
Although much of their material focuses on the hot and vampy swing tunes of the 30s and 40s (The Boswells, The Jimmy Lunsford Trio, and The Rhythm Boys), they also pursue their eclectic musical interests by performing their own arrangements of jazz, cowpoke, bebop, blues, standards and an occasional psychedelic hit. Their repertoire spins through a century of moving American song.
Before returning to Athens to raise her family, Brenda had worked primarily in Boston and San Francisco, doing cabaret, musical theater, rock and roll and with the performance art groups, Nuclear Beauty Parlor and the Monster Girls. Gay toured extensively, singing a range from bluegrass to blues. A featured member of The Appalachian Green Parks Project, she continues her popular folk/jazz duo work with her husband, the singer/songwriter Bruce Dalzell. Mimi began performing with her sisters at six; later, she worked out of Athens, New York City, and Cleveland, heading up and down the East coast and across the country with Hotcakes, the Bopcats, David Bromberg, the Allman Brothers and others.
The Local Girls’ gifted accompanists have deep resumes as well. Mike McGannon, a creative Ohio mainstay on guitars and banjo, was the musical director of The Angels, and has toured with The Drifters and The Coasters, as well as playing on countless recordings. Terry Douds, a sought-after clinician and engineer/producer, is an outstanding bass player, having toured the U.S., Europe and Asia with The Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Ink Spots, The Columbus Symphony and more.
The Local Girls have opened for the Platters, Lonestar, and Chubby Checker, and entertained the troops surrounding Air Force One. They’ve sung for two award-winning PBS documentary series. With The Lark Quartet, The Local Girls premiered a new birthday song, “Your Trip Around the Sun”, at Hillary Clinton’s fiftieth birthday gala in Washington D.C. They toured Europe with Ohio University singers, performed in The East Room at The White House for candlelight festivities and were guests on The Prairie Home Companion at Town Hall in NYC.
Yes, they’ve been around but they still get around: what the The Local Girls love most is LIVE music, a chance to share the joy of clear lyrics hung on a beautiful melody, all held in place with the strings of harmony. What fun! Won’t you join us?