Tulsa, Oklahoma (August 18, 2018)– A museum might not be at the top of the list of places people normally go to listen to music, but that’s exactly what happened in the intimate theater at the Woody Guthrie Center tonight, when the group Annie Oakley performed songs off their new album, Words We Mean. Annie Oakley is an Oklahoma City based trio, made up of twins Grace and Sophia Babb (both on vocals and guitar), and rounded out by Nia Personette (violin and vocals). This group of women may be young, but they’ve been a part of the Oklahoma music scene for awhile. The trio released their self-titled album in 2013 and have been juggling college courses, internships and gigs since that time.
Opening the show was local musician, Rachel La Vonne, backed by Seth Lee Jones on guitar. In a quiet, haunting voice, Rachel sang, “Strangers”, “Let Me Show You Love”, “Just Give Me Time” and “Anxiety”. If you’re interested in hearing more of Rachel’s music, you’ll have to wait a bit longer, as she has not yet recorded an album. You can find Rachel’s song, “Strangers” on the 2015 Oklahoma Room CD, which is made each year for Folk Alliance International, and can also hear her on other Tulsa musicians’ albums, such as Kalyn Faye’s 2016 album, Bible Belt. Although Rachel doesn’t have any upcoming shows listed, she is a staple of the Tulsa music scene and can often be found performing in one of Tulsa’s many venues.
After a brief intermission, the three women of Annie Oakley took the stage, accompanied by Kyle Reid on pedal steel. Sophia started the show with an introduction to the song “Pomp and Swell” complete with a story about how the song came about (a pleasant bike ride that started with observing families in their homes and ended with a frantic ride home with tornado sirens going off in the background) and followed it with the song, “Brother”. Although the girls are very talented and I loved listening to their songs, the best part of the night were the background stories about the songs and the playful banter between the girls that only comes from years of playing together. “Good Things”, “Words We Mean” and “Missed Connection”, all songs off their new album, were included in the set, as well as the incredibly sad, “If I Were a Ghost”, a song about the death of the twins’ father. The raw and open way the trio connects with their audience both through story and song is refreshing. At times their candidness is unexpected, but still welcome. Words We Mean, the new album from the trio won’t be out to the public until October and unfortunately there won’t be any scheduled performances from the group until Sophia returns from studying abroad in late winter.
For more info on Annie Oakley, visit their website here.
Rachel La Vonne:
Woody Guthrie Center: