The good folks at Rolling Stone have taken a shine to sisters Larissa Chace Smith and Brechyn Chace – aka The Hello Strangers – and their self-titled debut album from last year.
In an article posted August 6 titled “30 Great Country Albums of 2015 You Probably Didn’t Hear,” The Hello Strangers (who were highlighted in the April issue of Fly) came in at No. 22 on the list, which also features country heavyweights like Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.
Writer Stephen L. Betts called the sisters who hail from Mercersburg in Fraklin County “indie-spirited folk singers with a quirky sense of humor and some spine-tingling harmonies” and went on to say, “The album also boasts 11 impressive originals, all of them set to a cool Carter Sisters-meets-Indigo Girls vibe.”
The list also features several musicians Fly has highlighted in the past, including Andrew Combs, Robert Earl Keen, The Lone Bellow and Kat Edmonson. Several of the featured performers also have upcoming local concerts or who have played in the region recently – people like Sam Outlaw (who opened up for The Devil Makes Three at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster last month), The HillBenders (who play their bluegrass version of The Who’s Tommy at the Herr Street Stage in Harrisburg on August 14 and the Philadelphia Folk Festival on August 15), Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams (who perform at the Philadelphia Folk Festival on August 16 and open for Jackson Browne at the Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading on September 27) and American Aquarium (who play the Herr Street Stage on October 20),
The Rolling Stone feature is quite an accomplishment for The Hello Strangers who regularly play shows throughout the region. There are several upcoming opportunities to see the sisters and their backing band, including: the Philadelphia Folk Festival on August 14; the “Pop a Cork for the Capitol” wine festival at the Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg on August 15; the Burning Bridge Tavern in Wrightsville on August 29; the Herr Street Stage on September 26; and the Little Buffalo Festival in Newport on October 3.
Besides the accolades from Rolling Stone, the sisters have also recently signed up on the website Patreon in an effort to try and raise funds to work on new songs and videos.
We’ll also forgive Rolling Stone for including The Hello Strangers’ album on a 2015 list even though the album came out in May of 2014. It’s OK to ignore dates when the artistry is this good: