The Whipstitch Sallies began as close friends discovering bluegrass music for the first time. Allie Burbrink (guitar, banjo) and Sam Roberts (mandolin) met while working as summer camp guitar players in 2007. They were inspired to listen to bluegrass music after running a guitar camp with bluegrass musician Lukas Simpson of Goldmine Pickers. Listening to Goldmine Pickers was new territory.... more
The Whipstitch Sallies began as close friends discovering bluegrass music for the first time. Allie Burbrink (guitar, banjo) and Sam Roberts (mandolin) met while working as summer camp guitar players in 2007. They were inspired to listen to bluegrass music after running a guitar camp with bluegrass musician Lukas Simpson of Goldmine Pickers. Listening to Goldmine Pickers was new territory. Bluegrass was no longer something that their grandfathers listened to; it was alive and being played by their peers.
Not much came from Allie and Sam’s talks of learning to play bluegrass music until Allie’s six-month medical leave in 2009. She used her time to explore and learn bluegrass style. Sam came over with her new mandolin, and together they learned the old bluegrass standards.
Allie was asked in early 2010 to play for a non-profit organization that serves orphanages in India and Russia. Allie enlisted Sam and another friend, Kat Erickson (bass), to help play. The three girls came up with the name “The Whipstitch Sallies” and played their first show.
What started as a one-time project morphed something more. Allie, Kat, and Sam got more serious about their instruments (guitar, bass, and mandolin) and started developing their own unique take on the traditional sound. The Whipstitch Sallies booked more local performances and gained a following in central Indiana. In May 2011, they recorded a self-titled album, which sold out quickly.
By June 2011 the girls were attending festivals like ROMP in Kentucky, jamming with other musicians and making new friends. It was there they met Katie Burk (fiddle) at a jam circle. Luckily, Katie had just moved back to Indiana from Hawaii. Katie jammed several times with the girls and officially became a “Sally” in January 2012.
Their sound was complete, and they were ready for some big performances. 2012 saw The Whipstitch Sallies playing just over 50 shows with 70+ other artists at local venues and large festivals like The John Hartford Memorial Festival. In May 2012, they recorded a full-length album titled Live at The Pixy, which contains no studio-overdub and has been received well by fans and local radio stations alike. Highlights of 2013 have been Indy Folk Series, Radio Radio, The Brown County Music Awards, The Vogue, Max’s Place, Simply Music, Simply Mushrooms Festival, and JHMFIII.
Executing multiple weekend performances and weekly rehearsal sessions while juggling full-time jobs and school has been challenging, but The Whipstitch Sallies are extremely dedicated to perfecting their sound. The future is bright for these four talented young women as they continue their musical journey together.less