Nancy McCallion and her Wee Band will perform an eclectic music mix at Music on the Mountain this Saturday.
The daughter of an Irish-Scottish immigrant and a Texas farm girl, McCallion grew up in Tucson with its cross-cultural border influences during The Beatles’ era. All of these influences came together to create the Tex-Mex Irish sound, with a hint of country, that McCallion’s bands have been known for.
In 1989, McCallion teamed up with high school music partner Catherine Zavala to form The Mollys. They developed a solid following and went on to achieve national and international acclaim. The Mollys toured the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand and released seven albums before disbanding in 2003. Their 1997 album “Hat Trick” was listed on The Washington Post’s Top 10 list for that year, and the Post called McCallion “one of the finest Americana songwriters,” comparing her to Lucinda Williams and Iris Dement.
McCallion played at Music on the Mountain with her former band, The Last Call Girls, during the first three years of the series (2009-2011). The sponsors took a break from the series last summer to focus on opening the Sawmill Run Restaurant. They revived the series this summer, moving it to Saturdays and extending the season through the end of September.
Teaming up with McCallion to form her “Wee Band” are Mollys’ band mate Gary Mackender on accordion, Last Call Girls’ band mate Tom Rhodes on fiddle, McCallion’s husband, Danny Krieger, on guitar, and Steve Grams on bass.
Grams and Krieger have been playing together as a duo for many years, and both are members of the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame. Mackender also plays with The Carnivaleros; Rhodes plays with The Titan Valley Warheads; Grams plays with the Bad News Blues Band; and Krieger plays with The Van Dykes.
The Wee Band will perform a mix of McCallion’s originals, some Irish tunes, and some Grams and Krieger blues and original tunes.
Music on the Mountain, in Summerhaven, is presented by Chuck “Wagon” Maultsby and sponsored by Mesquite Homes and the Sawmill Run Restaurant.