published Friday, February 25th, 2011

Barking Legs spotlights harmonizing fiddlers

The Rosin Sisters revel in their ability to harmonize onstage, but that chemistry is as much a product of a long-standing friendship as it is compatible vocals and their love for roots fiddling.

"I think the friendship grew around the fiddling, but the friendship evolved over the years," said Ann Whitley-Singleton of her bandmates, Barbara Painter and Jan Smith.

"It's all been interconnected," Singleton added. "We wouldn't know each other without the music, but we're friends on a much deeper level now."

The Atlanta-based trio's friendship goes back to the mid-'80s when they met through jam sessions and fiddling workshops.

About 10 years ago, they joined an impromptu weekly singing group called The Divas. After several years singing around the dining-room table, Singleton said, they formed The Rosin Sisters to take advantage of their shared interest in various roots styles of music.

All three of The Rosin Sisters sing lead and harmony vocals and play the fiddle, but they also bring different stylistic penchants to the table, in addition to secondary instruments such as guitar and banjo.

Singleton said she feels drawn to the old country music of such artists as The Carter Family and Charlie Poole, and Smith and Painter add blues and Cajun and honky-tonk to the set lists.

Despite their varied backgrounds, Singleton said no member of the band feels the need to be in the spotlight.

"We don't have diva egos that make any one of us want to shine above the others," she said. "We really support each other.

"We're just all happy to be singing, whether we're leading or singing harmony, and we're happy to be playing, no matter what instrument we're playing."

Saturday, the trio will take the stage at Barking Legs Theater. Singleton said the set list will capitalize on The Rosin Sisters' wide-ranging interests, offering up everything from blues and honky-tonk to traditional Appalachian songs and a cappella gospel.

"I don't think anyone will be bored," she said.


Read a Q&A with fiddler/vocalist Ann Whitley-Singleton


* What: The Rosin Sisters.

* When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

* Where: Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave.

* Admission: $10.

* Phone: 624-5347.

* Venue website:


about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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