Arts and Entertainment

A lovely way to go: Folk duo make Bainbridge stop in first trip to West Coast

Alex Sia and Amy Andrews — The Lovely Drifters — will bring their blues-and-folk inspired acoustic music to Bainbridge Island for a show on Friday at Pegasus Coffee House. - Amy Andrews, Alex Sia photos
Alex Sia and Amy Andrews — The Lovely Drifters — will bring their blues-and-folk inspired acoustic music to Bainbridge Island for a show on Friday at Pegasus Coffee House.
— image credit: Amy Andrews, Alex Sia photos

Sometimes, a person’s first love isn’t their last.

And for Amy Andrews and Alex Sia, their latest love had them packing their bags in Baltimore and moving to the hot streets of Atlanta, Ga.

Now, that journey will take them to the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau next week.

Andrews and Sia are The Lovely Drifters, a folk-and-blues inspired duo who got their start as performers chasing their first love, classical music.

That changed a few years ago, Andrews recalled, after college when she became intrigued with folk music.

She started playing at open mic sessions with other musicians, when one night, Sia, who was also in Baltimore and finishing her master’s degree at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University, came by Sláinte Irish Pub to hear Andrews and a friend from school play.

“We had just been classical musicians,” Andrews recalled. “That was certainly what I thought I was going to do with my entire life.”

“That night was the first time I had ever played folk music with someone,” she added.

It was a Bob Dylan song, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.”

Sia — who’s been playing the cello since she was 5 — liked what she heard, and after a few years of line-up changes, the pair became The Lovely Drifters four months ago.

The duo will play an all-ages, free show at Pegasus Coffee House in Winslow at 8 p.m. Friday, April 6.

The group is now based out of Decatur, Ga.

“We would sometimes tour down here into the southeast,” Andrews said. “Every time we would tour down here there was this great excitement for the music we were making.”

Combined with fewer venues to play in Baltimore, and greater appetite for their music down South, the pair decided to move.

Coming up with a name for the group took a little longer than finding their musical destination, however.

“We compiled a list of words we liked and we started to just try to pair them up,” Andrews said.

“We went through a lot of nature-based words and tree names, but we thought maybe we liked the word ‘lovely,’” she explained, adding that it fit with the description of their music: beautifully melancholy.

They finally settled on The Lovely Drifters. The second-best choice had been, The Lovely Grifters, Andrews recalled with a laugh.

They’ve found a big difference between playing classical music and folk.

There’s much less reverence — people are eating, chewing, talking, shouting during a show now — than the hushed silence they’ve endured in the past.

“You’re up on the stage in this glowing light [at a classical music performance], as opposed to being on a stage that’s three inches taller than the rest of the room,” Andrews said.

The pair is excited about their West Coast tour. It’s Andrew’s first trip to the Northwest, though Sia originally hails from Vancouver, B.C.

Bainbridge should expect an upbeat performance, Andrews added.

“I think that despite how melancholic the subject can be, we always infuse some humor into it. It’s not going to be a sad time, it’s going to be a real wonderful time,” she said.

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