Women musicians unite for the Redrock Music Festival

In her inaugural appearance at the Women’s Redrock Music Festival, Talia Keys hopes to bring excitement and energy to the stage as she joins four other women from Utah-based bands to form a super group of musical women.

Keys will be joined by Mary Tebbs, Bronwen Beecher, Secily Saunders Chandra Whitaker (The Vision) to form the group Vinegar & Pearls.

“It’s going to be such a blast,” Keys said. “We’ve got so much talent and we’re really putting aside all other projects and coming together. You can just feel the vibe with it.”

The Women’s Redrock Music Festival is in its fifth season and is held each summer in the small Southern Utah town of Torrey. This year’s festival will be Aug. 12-13 and will feature headlining-act Betty. Other local musicians will perform and there will be a strong influence from Utah’s queer community, both in performers and attendees.

Keys, a Utah native and an out lesbian, has been performing for about three years, mainly with her band, Marinade. She’s done shows around the region at bars, clubs and other concert venues, but no matter where she is, her music incorporates an old soul with the energy of the Energizer bunny.

“No matter where I am I always put a lot of energy and personality into it,” Keys said. “I may not hit all the right notes, but I put my heart into it.”

Her music stylings are kind of like if Bob Marley and Elvis Presley had an illegitimate love child that was raised by Janis Joplin and Nina Simone.

“It’s got a little of that blues-y kind of sound, but with a whole new look,” Keys said.

Vinegar & Pearls will be performing selections from the individual bands’ repertoire and switching around on vocals. The idea was generated for the music festival and it’s slated to be a one-time performance.

“I don’t know if I’d call it a once in a lifetime kind of experience, but it’ll be different. It’s going to be special,” Keys said.

Forming a music festival revolving around women was right up Keys’ alley, who is an ardent supporter of her own image and bucking traditional trends in music.

“People tell me all the time I’d get more popular if I wore a skirt and a low-cut shirt. People ask me why I don’t dress like that all the time,” Keys said. “All I can say is fuck that, I’m going to dress how I want and be who I want. I don’t need to sell my body. I want to sell my music.”

For more information about the music festival, go to RedRockWomensFest.com.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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