by Ashley M. Burkholder
They're not the Indigo Girls, but they sure sound like them. West Chester-based Backflipannie, comprised of Lori Jacobs on guitar, vocals and trumpet and Lynn Verdone on guitar, vocals and keyboard, is a fusion of sweet harmonies and talented acoustic guitar playing. "We're very compatible on the creative side,"agrees Jacobs.
The two started out playing with a "garage band" 15 years ago, lost touch, then joined forces in 1997 to form the acoustic duo Backflipannie. Jacobs describes their genre as one influenced by jazz and acoustic rock - with everything from ballads, to folk music, even one song that borders on a "Nancy Griffith type" of country. Their live act includes covers from artists like, you guessed it, the Indigo Girls, as well as Sara McLachlan, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Bob Dylan. But Jacobs says they're in a transition period, moving farther and farther away from an all-cover show. They've penned over 25 originals, with their latest CD release entitled Life Force. Expect a third recording to be released next year.
Jacobs also says that now that Backflipannie's act is solid, the focus is on getting involved with the audience because, after all, "It's more than just standing there, strumming a guitar, and being a fixture in the place. It requires more action," says Jacobs.
To solve the problem, the duo comes equipped with tambourines, shakers, and bongo drums to pass out to musically inclined audience members. "It's so satisfying to be bringing so many different kinds of people together in one place and they all get along," says Jacobs. "There's just something about the arts - especially music - that gets people going."
Backflipannie has toured Europe and played in Washington, D.C. for a "Voice of America" broadcast to Asia. They're now looking to gain more radio exposure in major East Coast cities and travel to Europe or Australia for another long-distance tour. Jacobs says the next question they must ask is, "How permanent can we make this?"
Log onto their Web site, www.backflipannie.com, for free downloads and an updated schedule. Backflipannie will perform at The Pub in New Holland on September 22.