Here Come the Trishas, Texas's 4-Part Harmony Queens

Does anyone else miss the Dixie Chicks? Is it even okay to say that in Texas?

We hope so, because a week or two ago, Rocks Off stumbled across "Tonight the Heartache's On Me" again and have been on a serious Chicks kick ever since. But as the song says, that trio is a long time gone at this point. They're not broken up, but it's been a long time since they even hinted at doing anything. The Court Yard Hounds are nice, but not quite the same thing.

Austin's the Trishas aren't quite the same thing either, but they should scratch that certain Dixie Chicks acoustic country/folk itch, especially for fans of close harmonies and the Linda Ronstadt/Dolly Parton/Emmylou Harris Trio album. There are a couple of important differences, of course: The Trishas have four voices, not three.

Also, they're brunettes, not blonds. (We like brunettes.) And, you know, active.


Rocks Off is proud to sponsor their Cactus Music in-store this Saturday at noon; the Trishas play Anderson Fair later on Saturday night (8 p.m.).

Although there are no actual Trishas in the band -- their names are Jaime, Kelley, Savannah and Liz -- they have a stout résumé for a just few short years and, until the release of High, Wide & Handsome on their own label last week, no full-length album.

Jamie Wilson used to be in Austin roots-rockers the Gougers, and Savannah Welch is the daughter of respected singer-songwriter Kevin Welch. They've toured with and sung on records by Raul Malo and Ray Wylie Hubbard, as well as hit the road with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, who are apparently still around. (Malo also shows up to duet on Handsome's "A Far Cry from You.")

With harmonies this pristine, the Trishas could sing the periodic table of elements and we would listen, but High, Wide & Handsome is instead a personal album mostly about relationships, as titles like "Strangers," "Liars & Fools," "Cheater's Game," "Over Forgiving You" and "Cold Blooded Love" might clue you in. "Little Sweet Cigars" is about a brief affair with an older man; "John Wayne Cowboy" an argument that the strong, silent type might not make the best partner.

At 15 songs, few of which will improve your outlook on your own romantic prospects, perhaps High, Wide & Handsome could have done with a little trimming. But taken a few at a time -- say, the length of your average Cactus in-store set -- the Trishas are a pleasure to behold.

12 p.m. Saturday at Cactus Music, 2110 Portsmouth and 8 p.m. at Anderson Fair, 2007 Grant.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray