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Shivaree

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Biography

Taking their name from a word meaning a drunken serenade, the trio Shivaree is led fronted by Ambrosia Parsley. Born in the San Fernando Valley and inspired by her grandmother, who would play ukulele around town, Parsley's first gig was singing with a 99-piece senior citizen banjo band at a local pizza place. At the age of 13, she left home, traveling the country and pursuing her love of music. She met guitarist Duke McVinnie, who had worked with Exene Cervenka, Johnny Otis, and J.J. Cale at a recording studio where Parsley was tracking, and he began to work with her after making some suggestions. When keyboardist Danny McGough, who had toured with Tom Waits, heard Parsley's music at a party, he introduced himself, completing the trio, which was initially known as Junebug. With their name changed to Shivaree (Parsley came across the word in a Jesse James bio), they recorded a debut which was promptly discarded. Enlisting singer/songwriter Joe Henry as a producer, they recorded I Oughtta Give You a Shot in the Head for Making Me Live in This Dump in Henry's backyard. Released in 1999, the album was well received, with Parsley's striking looks and their quirky take on Americana and alt-country drawing comparisons ranging from Tom Waits to Cowboy Junkies to Billie Holiday. The band spent a lengthy stint on the road where Parsley, overcoming stage fright, captivated crowds, particularly in Europe, where they were drawing enthusiastic praise. Shivaree returned with Rough Dreams, which bowed on Capitol in September 2002. 2004 saw the release of an EP, Breach, featuring two originals as well as covers of songs by Brian Eno, the Waterboys, and John Cale. Later that same year, the group put out the full-length Who's Got Trouble? 2007 saw the release of Tainted Love: Mating Calls & Fight Songs, an all-covers album featuring Shivaree's take on R. Kelly, Mötley Crüe, and even Michael Jackson. ~ Tom Demalon

Top Songs

Genre
Years Active:

'00s

Contemporaries