Artist Spotlight: The Harmony Sisters
If the sisters singing folk ballads as you enter the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park look familiar, it’s because they’re longtime locals Susan Anderson and Barbara Cyr. As the Harmony Sisters, they perform at the Caverns, in Aspen’s Wagner Park, and for myriad other public and private events. They recently took a moment to talk with the Post Independent about their music and their Glenwood gig.
How long have you been performing together?
BC: Since we were children. We really are sisters. I’m older, and I wanted someone to sing with me. The only time we ever got along when we were kids was singing.
SA: I took a lot of piano lessons, but it was hard to play the piano and sing, so when I was 12 we picked up the guitar and really took off with it.
What sort of stuff did you play?
BC: Actually, we do a lot of the same things. Our sisters were quite a bit older, and they taught us these old songs that they loved, and we still do a lot of those.
SA: I like to say we do Americana music. It’s probably 1890 to 2016, so it’s over a century of songs. We found a really nice niche singing songs that are very familiar, and we encourage people to sing along with us, and we have instruments for the kids to play. It’s what our family did, and down south it seems like families still do that.
What is it that appeals about that kind of music?
SA: We love the look on the children’s faces. When there’s an 18-month-old child standing there wiggling his body it’s just amazing.
BC: We’ve been doing this format up at the Burlingame Cabin for 15 years, and everyone would just have such a great time. We haven’t seen anyone else doing that.
How did you get set up here?
BC: A friend of mine said the manager was looking for some children entertainers, so we called him, and he listened to us, and we were hired. We went from one day to two days, and now it’s 11:30 to 2:30 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
SA: We both have other jobs. I’m a bus driver and she’s a ski instructor, so we have to fit our music into our lives.
Is that a different experience from a standard gig?
BC: People come and go. We don’t repeat songs very often, although sometimes we do the ABC’s 100 times for the little guys. We do all the classic kid stuff.
SA: Both of us are trained singers and songwriters. She was a Siren of Swing and I was in a rock band called Cruise Control. This is an opportunity where we don’t have to play until midnight.
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Questlove’s directorial debut, the documentary “Summer of Soul” brings to vivid life the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival with previously unseen footage of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone and others. Aspen Film and Jazz Aspen Snowmass will host a drive-in preview on Sunday.