Po' Girl, performing at the Joshua Tree Music Festival
Mikey "Lightning" August
The band evolved from a series of jam sessions, in 2000, between Trish Klein of The Be Good Tanyas and Allison Russell, then of Fear of Drinking. The two met up again in 2003 and named themselves Po' Girl.
They released their self-titled debut album in 2003. In 2004, they recorded and released their second album, Vagabond Lullabies with the help of friend musicians who included Diona Davies (multi-instrumentalist and singer), CR Avery (hip hopper), Roey Shemesh on bass and John Raham and Shelley Okepnak on drums. In 2007 came their third album, Home to You. 2006 saw the release of their B Side record, with tracks including guest appearances by Sarah Harmer, Luther Wright, Shaun Brodie, Jason Mercer and Ana Egge (which can only be purchased off-stage).
Once based in Vancouver Po' Girl are now back in the Eastern cities of Toronto and Montreal. The band lineup is now Allison Russell (singer/multi-instrumentalist), Awna Teixeira (singer/multi-instrumentalist), Benny Sidelinger (multi-instrumentalist) and Mikey "Lightning" August.
Deer in the Night was released in May 2009. Also in summer 2009, they released their first live album consisting of recordings in venues from their favourite states.
Their latest studio album Follow Your Bliss is finished and available at live shows, it is planned to for general release in fall 2010.
Po' Girl's music has been compared with that of The Band, Hazel Dickens, Tracy Chapman, Natalie Merchant, Elizabeth Cotten and Norah Jones. It showcases melodies from instruments as diverse as banjo, clarinet, harmonica, dobro, accordion, gutbucket bass.
Allison Russell of Po' Girl, performing at Wood, 2009
Awna Teixeira of Po' Girl, performing at Wood, 2009