Highlands graduates (2000) Katie Wefer (left) and Heather Turner (below right)
It's the weekend. The summer is winding down and beads of water drip from my rocks glass, as I take a sip of my Basil Hayden and delve into a story. Doesn't matter which one. Point is that I'm an absolute sucker for recounting a good anecdote. The backyard by the grill is my stage and I love entertaining my buddies with a good one.
I tell you this because when Highlands graduates, Heather Turner and Katie Wefer, who make up half of their 4 person music group Tupelo Honey, make it big, I'm going to have great "I-Knew-Them-When" stories.
When Katie was the cool, older girl, she used to drive me to school. It's possible that right there, on those roads to Highlands to the upperclassmen parking lot where the Middle School now resides, she perfected her vocalizer - singing No Doubt, Destiney's Child or the Chili Peppers.
I can also tell you that as a 7th grader, I took Chorus for an easy A. I mostly had no idea what I was doing, but I did get an A that year. It's possible that because Heather got a B in her only year of Chorus, I had and have more musical inclination than she does now.
See, a great story teller knows that the important thing about using the word possible in a story is that while you know in your heart it may or may not be entirely accurate, the possible part still makes for a good story.
I've circled the calendar for Friday, Sept. 17, when Tupelo Honey (who captures the harmonic grace of the Indigo Girls, Dixie Chics, Patty Griffin, and Janis Joplin) is opening up for LeAnn Rimes at the Cintas Center.
Their CD (In It For the Ride) is being released at The Madison Theatre on Sept. 10 and will be available everywhere you can buy music (impending follow up article when their CD is released).
Their moment has arrived, which means I'll be looking for new blood for which to unleash these fables from our days at Highlands. But while I get to tell a Cliffs Notes version of their climb, it wasn't an easy road for the two girls.
"Tupelo Honey started as an acoustic duo, just Katie and I, when we were still in college. We are both self taught guitarists, who won a talent competition at Austin City Saloon in Lexington the first time we performed," Turner said. "We started performing at coffee houses, and bars around the Cincinnati area, and gradually got some recognition."
From an acoustic duo at Austin City Saloon to a 6 person group which includes bass, drums and a violin opening up for a Grammy award winning artist, the road has had its share of twists and turns. Twists which include breaking into the music business by working at The Poison Room hosting showcases for other musicians while working full time jobs to winning the 2007 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best Folk Americana EP titled, Sweet. When Tupelo Honey opens up for LeAnn Rimes at The Cintas Center next month, their music will be appreciated on a large scale.
"It is a very hard life to be a musician. Late nights, not much money, and little sleep. It was worth it though. I don't regret it for a second," Turner said. "I think that passion in the beginning is what made us so successful in the end. You have to endure hard times in anything you really love to do."
This is a big deal.
For more information on Katie and Heather and their band, Tupelo Honey, including songs videos, click here.