Raised on a ranch in Montana, Kendra Jo and Brittany Brook spent their childhood playing bluegrass with their family at community events. The sisters now live in New York City where they perform as actors, singer-songwriters, and musicians in their female-dominant bluegrass collective, The Snowy Mountain Sisters. They've both produced and released their own singer-songwriter albums and are currently applying for grants to produce the first Snowy album, made 100% by female-identifying artists!
Kendra Jo and Brittany Just returned from London together, where they were invited by Jeremy Harrison of Rose Bruford College to develop their newly-written play, "The Wasp and The Raven” in his classroom of Actor-Musicians Master students.
We are excited to have The Snowy Mountain Sisters join our first NYC show and got to know a little more about the them in a conversation with Kendra Jo.
CGCM: You are sisters from Montana. What made you take the leap to move to New York City?
Kendra Jo: I came to NYC in 2012, and it was kind of a whim of a decision. Many of my classmates were coming to pursue musical theatre, so I thought it might be the right place. I thought if I didn’t at least try New York that I would end up regretting it. No regrets!!
And then after I got here, I realized that I needed my older sister here too to make things happen! So, I begged her and her husband to move, and they did! And thank goodness, because Britt’s been my best pal and my business partner for many years now.
CGCM: When did you start playing music together?
Kendra Jo: We’ve always played music together. I can’t really remember a time when we weren’t singing or dancing or playing an instrument together. Music is a large part of our family, so it’s always been there for us.
As for the Snowy Mountain Sisters band — we formed in 2015 as a bluegrass collective for women. We wanted to make a group where we could collaborate and perform with other women!
CGCM: Who are your musical influences?
Kendra Jo: For me, Dolly Parton is my greatest influence. I learned how to sing with my true voice by listening to her. She’s the greatest storyteller and songwriter of all time! Alison Krauss was a huge one too— I saw her in concert with Union Station when I was seven, and that really got me turned on to fiddling.
Britt is CRAZY about Joni Mitchell and Brandi Carlile. Those are two of the greatest songwriters as well, so I see why Britt is a gifted songwriter. Britt’s been writing songs since she could talk. We were very religious when we were kids, so she would write praise songs and sing them at church. Pretty cute.
CGCM: What's next for the band?
Kendra Jo: The band is busy! We play around the city several times a month. Our next show will be at the Penrose on December 15th!
In the new year, we will be teaching a 6 week songwriting workshop to girls, ages 8-13, here in the city.
Brittany is ready to put out another EP, featuring the Snowy Mountain Sisters. It will be titled “At Least the Point is Living”.
And in 2020 we will be recording an album with the Snowy Mountain Sisters, featuring original songs of our band members, as well as other female-identifying artists in NYC. Super excited for that one!