Artist of the Week

Big Bad Gina Tributes Women’s Music, Community and Earth

Posted by tbaker |
Big Bad Gina

Cutline: Photo Submitted
Big Bad Gina is made up of Jori Costello, Melodie Griffis, Renée Janski, and road manager, RJ.

Album Release Party:

Saturday, July 13

Teatro Scarpino

Doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m.

Staff Report

Big Bad Gina is one of those bands that makes a statement with their talent, originality and presence. They’ve been touring the country after winning national recognition for their musical performances, playing with well-known artists like the Indigo Girls in Milwaukee. At the end of the day, Big Bad Gina is a NWA-based favorite that has been hitting the scene hard working to further their reach and personal goals as musicians. We were able to sit down with the group despite their busy schedule to find out about their new album, Shine Your Light — a tribute to womyn’s music with positive messages for community and Earth.

Q: How did the members of the group meet?

A: Melodie and Renée met at a Pride event for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fayetteville and really clicked. We formed Big Bad Gina and began to play at the local coffeehouse and the Fayetteville Goddess Festival where we met Jori. There we sat in on each other’s sets and within a couple of months, the musical magic and three-part harmony had happened and we were a trio! We loved making music together immediately. Our musical styles have a wonderful chemistry together and when we found our signature three-part harmony it was love at first chord.

Q: In what genre would you classify your music?

A: Genre Hoppin’, Folkin’ Rockin’ with a Driving Girl-Groove Edge

Q: Why do you love singing and creating music?

A: It is an expression of our innermost souls — we can’t imagine not making music. Each of us has worked hard from a very young age to cultivate our musical talent and skill, creating the individual and collective musicians we are today. It is our life’s work and a true joy to make music.

Q: What does each member of BBG bring to the group dynamic?

A: Jori has been in the music scene from her early teens as a solo performer and in various ensembles from Kansas City to Lawrence to Fayetteville. Melodie studied jazz guitar and has worked in various and eclectic ensembles around the globe from Cameroon, West Africa to Austin, TX. Renée took her degree in opera, studying bluegrass along the way, and performing internationally from Vienna to New York City. All of us are multi-instrumentalists, and together we play 10 instruments plus hand percussion.

Q: What does the band hope to accomplish with their music?

A: We know how long a journey it has been for female musicians to be heard and to be successful in the music industry. We are honored to be a part of the ever-evolving women’s music scene that pioneers like Holly Near, Meg Christian and Cris Williamson worked so hard to forge. As activists and artists, it is especially gratifying to know that our musical message has been an inspiration to young women who share a similar path.

Q: If you had to pick a favorite song from your band, what would it be and why?

A: Melodie – My favorite is You Don’t Love Me Anymore, which is on our second release, Lake of Dreams. It seems that our audience can identify with the emotions conveyed in the words and in the simplicity of the instrumental foundation. People are often moved as much as I was when writing it. That is very gratifying as a song writer.

Renée – I really love our new piece Beetz in My Salad that I co-wrote with S.J. Tucker. We recorded it and it has recently released as a single on our website – it’s on our new CD also. It is our World Salad flow, a veggie (w)rap – haha. It hammers home a message about world hunger and local food choices. It also showcases killer bass, percussion and beat box.

Jori – My favorite is Mo’ Better, a piece I wrote from our first release, Amazon Warrior Princess. I love it for it’s funky groove and feel good message. It tells a story that even though love changes, it still grows.

Q: Tell us about your new project Shine Your Light.

A: We are thrilled to release our newest CD, it has been a labor of love and we’re eager to show it to the world! Shine Your Light is a tribute to womyn’s music with positive messages for community and Earth. With something for everyone, “Shine Your Light” is an extraordinary fusion of powerful and dynamic vocals, showcasing multi-instrumentalism, fun and witty messages and plenty of opportunities for dancing! We recorded Shine Your Light at Crisp Recording Studios here in Fayetteville — we love working with Darren, he’s so creative, capable, talented and his studio is state of the art! (www.crisprecording.com) Shine Your Light will be available for purchase on our website Big Bad Gina) and iTunes, CD Baby and most of the other online retailers.

Upcoming Events: We’re looking forward to the National Women’s Music Festival www.wiaonline.com www.wiaonline.com) and Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (www.michfest.com) this summer, as well as weekends at our beautiful home stage at the Voulez Vous Lounge in Eureka Springs, Arkansas (outineureka.com). For more information about us and our calendar, please check out our website www.bigbadgina.com or FaceBook us at Big Bad Gina.

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