Who better to define country soul than a three-piece armed with a banjo, harmonica, guitar and bass?
The ladies of Underhill Rose return to Savannah after a long hiatus to play at The Jinx with The Accomplices on Feb. 22, bringing with them their reimagined mixture of Americana, bluegrass, soul and country.
DO caught up with Eleanor Underhill, banjo and harmonica player of the group that is the namesake of her and her bandmate, before their upcoming performance.
I see what you did there with the last name; it's now the name of your band, too.
Eleanor Underhill: It is. (Laughs.) We tossed around a bunch of names but ultimately thought we'd go with my last name and my bandmate Molly Rose Reed, her middle name, and just felt that it was honest and had some cool imagery, as well.
What exactly is "country soul"?
Underhill: I would say we're definitely inspired by a lot of styles of music and that informs our music, but country soul is what we call it.
The way we learned to sing was modeled after more soul music, soul singing styles. But then we have a banjo and upright bass and a guitar and we have a country kind of sound with the instruments, so it's a little bit of a mashup.
I think a lot of the core of our music comes from singer-songwriters like folk revival folks.
I listen to a lot of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles, and that's just all music that our parents were listening to. So we all grew up kinda listening to that.
But I really love Motown, as well, and all sorts of pop music. Somehow it just meshes together.
You guys formed in 2009 but have been playing for much longer?
Underhill: The guitar player and I have been playing together for 13 years.
So we had another band before this one. So we've been playing a long time.
After a Kickstarter campaign funded your album "Something Real," things really took off. Ten weeks on the Top 40 Americana Airplay chart is pretty exciting.
Underhill: It's really exciting. My family goes to the beach, the coast of Carolina, and my dad was in another room and walked into the room with the radio looking like a zombie.
He was holding up the radio and it was playing an Underhill Rose song and we all were just so excited.
It's one thing to hear your tune in your own town - we have a great radio station here and they do support local bands - but to hear it far away is really a cool thing.
Any plans on another album or Kickstarter campaign?
Underhill: We're gonna do another Kickstarter campaign, so we're asking fans to help us out for the next album that kicks off March 22, and actually on that day, we're releasing our new music video, which is from our album "Something Real."
Anything else you'd like to add?
Underhill: We're just excited to get back south. We love Savannah and we're just excited to be heading back there and hope to make it a regular thing.