The Sledge sisters continue to deliver great music at an early age.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
The Sledge Grits Band is Monterey County’s answer to Hanson, only with better hair and more talent. The blues-rocking quartet of sisters – ranging from 8-year-old drummer Bopah to 15-year-old guitarist Keiko – are fired up to play their first Artichoke Festival on Saturday.
“We’ve had artichokes in our lives for a long time,” Keiko says. There’s more to their enthusiasm than artichoke adoration. These youngsters truly enjoy playing music for an audience.
“We love to see people’s faces when they hear us play,” says 14-year-old bassist Kariel. “A lot of people think that little kids can’t play and when they see an 8-year-old and 10-year-old play they get so happy.”
Though the girls have a large repertoire of covers, including Heart’s “Barracuda,” they prefer playing their originals.
“It’s so cool when people hear our originals and tell us they’re awesome,” Kariel says. “We’re able to show our individuality.”
Keiko says she likes writing about friendship, love and the every day life of being a teenager.
“We just recorded two originals about love and heartache,” she says. “I’ve never been through love or heartbreak because my parents won’t let me date yet, so I write about what other people around me are going through.”
The Sledge sisters also gather inspiration from books like Harry Potter, the Twilight series and Gone With the Wind. As far as musical tastes, Keiko says you can find everything from Pink and Kelly Clarkson to Bon Jovi and Aerosmith on her iPod.
The girls practice for more than an hour every day, in addition to the time they spend practicing separately.
“We’d play music all day if we could,” Keiko says. “Playing music is part of who we are.”
Last year, the Sledges performed Aretha Franklin’s Reach Out And Touch Somebody’s Hand on the CBS Early Show. It will not be their last television appearance: They’ve been traveling back and forth to Los Angeles to meet with music, television and reality television producers. Their mom Wendy admits that there’s something big in the works, but says she cannot divulge any details beyond that.