The Ditty BopsView in iTunes
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Purveying an utterly charming sound that borrows from folk, pop, Western swing, and early vocal jazz, Los Angeles' fancifully named Ditty Bops feature the tightly woven harmonies of Amanda Barrett (who also handles mandolin and dulcimer duties) and Abby DeWald (who also plays guitar). Though Barrett and DeWald met in New York City in the late '90s, they didn't begin playing music until they moved back to California. Barrett spent her childhood in Topanga and learned to play fretted dulcimer when she was six, then moved to Europe to model as a teen before moving to New York in her early twenties. DeWald, meanwhile, grew up in northern California and took piano lessons as a child; growing up in a house where only classical was played, she nevertheless developed a fascination with ragtime music and electric blues. A stint in a band that played '20s covers in period costumes inspired the duo to make the Ditty Bops just as theatrical, if not as strictly traditional: puppet shows, illustrations, and fancy dresses and wigs give their live shows a hint of cabaret. The Ditty Bops were discovered by Warner Bros. at one of their shows in the L.A. area; after signing to the label, they released their self-titled, Mitchell Froom-produced debut album. Late that year, the group toured the U.S. with the equally theatrical Dresden Dolls and Count Zero. In 2006 the Ditty Bops' sophomore album, Moon Over the Freeway, came out, accompanied by a nationwide bicycle tour. ~ Heather Phares