"A little bit invitin', a little bit excitin', a little bit ignitin' . . .that's my trademark," proclaims an old song. And that's the Blue Moon Cowgirls, four Washington-area musicians with their own refreshing approach to country music. A shimmering trio of female voices backed by flexible acoustic instrumentation, the Blue Moon Cowgirls blend front-porch directness with neon-lit sophistication as they sing about home and highways, heaven and honkytonks, heartbreak and hope. Their repertoire stretches from the 1920s Appalachia to the 1990s California, with stops along the way at several decades' worth of prairie roadhouses and bayou dance halls. The sound of country music has always been on the move, but its heart has remained in the same place, and the Blue Moon Cowgirls can take you there.
Ann Porcella's musical taste gravitates toward the gospel music she learned at home from her preacher father and very large musical family. Her deep, powerhouse voice adapts well to many different traditional styles, though harmony singing is her first love. She has performed solo and with a variety of ensembles at folk venues around the country, including the Augusta concerts and Folk on Broadway. She and her husband Bill Schmidt perform at house concerts and coffeehouses as a duet, and with their old-time band the Vacutones for square dances and concerts.
Karen Collins - "A coal miner's daughter from southwest Virginia, Karen Collins is a genuine down-home country singer in the old-school class of Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jackson and Jean Shepard." (Maverick Magazine) Currently she plays with Ira in the award winning honky tonk country group, Backroads Band and is fiddler and vocalist with the D.C. area's popular Cajun band Squeeze Bayou in addition to playing solo singer songwriter shows. Karen is a multiple WAMMIE award winner for best country vocalist and has recorded five CDs with her various groups.
Sally Love Connell the newest member of the Cowgirls, sings lead/harmony vocals and plays guitar. A WAMMIE award winner for best bluegrass vocalist, Sally is in demand as a lead and back-up vocalist, and has performed with various acoustic and bluegrass groups in the Washington DC area in such venues as The Ramshead Tavern, Kennedy Center, and The Barns at Wolf Trap. She and husband Dudley Connell have taught vocal and harmony classes at Augusta and Common Ground on the Hill and perform with their own group, Seneca Rocks!
Ira Gitlin's guitar playing gets its down-to-earth drive from his long involvement in bluegrass, and its sophisticated rhythms and harmonies from his interest in western swing and jazz. A WAMMIE award winning multi-instrumentalist and former National Bluegrass Banjo Champion, Ira is in demand as a sideman and music instructor. He can also be heard locally with The Backroads Band, The Oklahoma Twisters, and many other artists.