Foxglove – genus Digitalis – is a plant with a dual nature: it has been useful medicinally but it’s also highly toxic. It’s also an incredibly attractive plant. Beautiful, healing and deadly in large doses – that’s quite a label to pick up but that is what this Minneapolis based sextet chose. It all started when ukulele player Steph Snow posted on a women’s music page about wanting to start an all-female folk/bluegrass/Americana/country band. Responding to the post, a gathering of women met up at the St. Paul neighborhood dive bar Como Tap. Scroll forward from that first informal gathering in 2019 and we find The Foxgloves releasing their debut album ‘Mama Was A Bandit‘ in September 2022.
The title track is a flip-sides cowboy heist song – there are plenty of trains getting robbed “Mama was a bandit, she was one of a kind / Had a taste for gold and a gifted mind / We’d watch the trains go by and she’d tell me where they kept the safe” and mama has her alibi ready “And when the police came, she’d blame it all on Jesse James.” Well, who are they going to believe? – after all he did rob the Glendale Train….
The Foxgloves are: Nyssa Krause (bass), Maura Dunst (violin/mandolin/vocals), Liz DeYoe (guitar), Steph Snow (ukulele/vocals), Nikki Lemire (harp/autoharp/vocals), Sara Tinklenberg (percussion/vocals).
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Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan’s music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That’s not much to ask, is it?