Sweet Alibi, guests on SCENE on Air June 22 (Mike Latschislaw)
I always thought when I was younger that you had to go to California to see great artists. And it was all right here.
—Jessica Rae Ayre, Sweet Alibi
What started as a fun thing to do when they were hanging out, has turned into pretty much a full time job.
Michelle Anderson and Jessica Rae Ayre both went to Vincent Massey Collegiate and Ayre remembers their early days making music together. "Michelle taught me my first couple chords on guitar. And we used to make her sing Christmas carols and harmonize with me when we were 14."
"Like Destiny's Child carols!" Anderson adds.
Affter high school, Anderson and Ayre had a band for a while but as things go, they went their separate ways until Amber Nielsen came along.
"When I met Jessica," she recalls. "I was dating this guy who played drums with her in her old band and we kind of partied together. We'd have late night jams and she told me she was starting a band with her friend so they invited me to the first rehearsal. We wrote a song and that was it."
The ladies credit the Winnipeg music scene for much of their inspiration. "I used to watch Scott Nolan on Wednesdays at the Bella (Vista) all the time," Ayre explains.
"I was really surprised when I first started seeing live music here, that it was so close," she continues. "I always thought when I was younger that you had to go to California to see great artists. And it was all right here."
Fast forward a few years later and Sweet Alibi is enjoying some sweet success, in Winnipeg and beyond. According to Anderson, "we constantly say we're from Winnipeg. We'll play an Andrew Neville song and we always say 'if you're in Winnipeg go see Andrew Neville on Wednesdays at the Rose n' Bee'. People recognize that because other artists are doing the same thing across Canada."
Over the past two years the three ladies of Sweet Alibi have improved their songwriting skills and are working with Rusty Matyas from Imaginary Cities as well. "It's just so fun," Anderson enthuses. "It's relaxed. We go to his house to record where we work on the demos. He's got so many ideas. He's taking the songs and he's making them into something else. It's awesome."
All three women are on the road so much, they don't really have time for regular day jobs. Their schedule reflects this necessity, with upcoming performances happening in Carmen, Dauphin Countryfest, Onanole and on Canada Day at the Forks.
Don't miss hearing Sweet Alibi at Canada Day at the Forks Monday July 1 at 5 p.m. on the Scotiabank Stage. Before then, catch them on SCENE on Air with host Ismaila Alfa on Saturday June 22. The show airs every Saturday from 5 - 6 p.m. on CBC Radio One, 89.3 FM/990 AM/97.9 FM in Brandon.
Sweet Alibi sings in Scott Nolan song/video.