Not long ago on the CBC Radio 3 podcast with Grant Lawrence, I heard Tennessee Twin performing a song called “Free To Do What?”   I’ll leave the biographical info. to Charles Spano below.  Let me just say for now that I was intrigued with Tennessee Twin’s determination to set themselves apart from punk rockers in Vancouver by incorporating unexpected older musical styles.  Those of us doing wet plate collodion photography – as opposed to digital or film – should be at home with that sort of reverse-rebellion.  We have been called the “antiquarian avant-garde.”


Tennessee Twin

Tennessee Twin


From All Music Guide

The Tennesse Twin play ballads, barnburners, and hillbilly social tunes in the old style of country & western music. Cindy Wolfe, founder of the Tennessee Twin, is the identical twin sister of acclaimed riot grrrl act Bratmobile’s Allison Wolfe. Born in Memphis, Cindy Wolfe, who sings, plays mandolin, and is the songwriter for the Tennessee Twin, found inspiration from her Southern roots, and desired to perform in ways that stood out from her punk rock contemporaries. Wolfe began this effort by writing, directing, and staging puppet shows in Olympia, WA. But fearful of being pigeonholed as a puppeteer, Wolfe began to plot out the course of the country band that would become the Tennessee Twin and moved to Canada. In 1998, when Bratmobile came to Vancouver, Allison Wolfe convinced her sister to get her band started, and the Tennessee Twin were born. The band has played festival shows, including YoYo a GoGo and Ladyfest with fellow alt-country crooner Neko Case. Mint Records released the Tennessee Twin’s first single, “These Thoughts Are Occupied,” in 2001. The next year they finally released their debut album, Free to Do What?, and Wolfe starred in the film Low Self Esteem Girl.

— Charles Spano