Chronogram August 2016
“At once winsome and terrifying, charming and bold, Dust Bowl Faeries is fast becoming an East Coast phenomenon” Michael Eck
“A Dust Bowl Faeries concert is something like a deep, dark mystical-musical tragi-comedy, often centering around extinct and/or endangered members of the animal kingdom” Greg Haymes-Nippertown
“When she beckons a lover down to the river or onto a dream-ship for a dark ride, she means you too, and you go, because why not? Okay, she’s wearing a stuffed ram’s head, with whom she has a close relationship, but she’s also wearing a beautiful black dress with a skirt like the petals of a dark flower. And yes, she plays accordion and ukulele, but unlike any accordion or ukulele you’ve heard before. And by her own admission, she’s “a strange girl”, but her strangeness is also her loveliness, and it’s not just a dark ride, it’s a great ride. Ryder Cooley, queen of the Dust Bowl Faeries, which include Karen Cole (lap steel guitar and vocals), Jen DuBois (electric guitar and vocals) and JoAnn Stevelos (percussion and vocals) have come of a certain age. They’re still deeply quirky and hard to categorize, although they call themselves “ethereal gothic-folk,” whatever that is, but, they make mesmerizing music together,
now newly accessible, even entertaining, thanks, at least in part to the self-titled debut album”
Enid Futterman, IMBY Photo – Noah Fowler
“Cooley, a captivating performer, seems at times to be almost floating outward toward the audience, temporarily evacuating her corporeal space so the souls of extinct beasts have room in the vessel of her body to fill as she sings them forth” – Alexa Chase, Seat of Perception
DUST BOWL FAERIES album:
“transcendent compositions of moody riverside dream folk”
“let this album be your soundtrack for the moments when you venture down by the water on the outskirts of town, where the only company you’ll keep is with the curious forest creatures who pass you by”
Ron Hart, Chronogram
“Unique? Haunting? Intoxicating? It’s hard to know where to start in describing the Dust Bowl Faeries and their music. If you’ve never seen them, well, they’re unlike any band you’ve ever seen. Lately, they’ve come to describe their sound as “ethereal gothic folk,” which certainly applies, but doesn’t quite tell the whole story…” – Greg Haymes
Dust Bowl Faeries began as a trio in 2012 with Ryder Cooley, Karen Cole and keyboardist Sara Ayers. In the winter of 2014, the faeries found two new bandmates, Jen DuBois and Joann Stevelos. The group now performs as a quartet. They recorded and released their debut album in 2015-2016: DBF Album
Ryder Cooley is an inter-disciplinary artist, musician and performer. She has played in numerous bands and projects from New York to California. She has recorded several albums, some of which can be found via Out of Round Records. In 2011 Ryder began working with Hazel, a taxidermy ram. They currently perform together with the Dust Bowl Faeries, and as a performance duo. Hazel played the role of the Pyrenean Ibex in Ryder’s extinction cabaret, XMALIA, which was performed at numerous venues including Proctors Mainstage, Club Helsinki, Silvermine Arts, MASS Arts and Sky Box.
Karen Cole began playing music on the cello, and most recently took up the lap steel guitar. She is a professional hair stylist, and she has been collecting and creating re-purposed hats and vintage garments for years, which are now part of the Dust Bowl Faeries fabulous wardrobe.
JoAnn Stevelos was given a red Fender acoustic guitar when she was eight years old. Soon thereafter, she began writing songs and plays with her best friend Mary, who she met at a music class in the basement of the Town Hall where she grew up. They wrote songs and stories about girls, what games they were going to play, and what the rules were. JoAnn’s creative practice is deeply rooted in a project called Dream Alibis, which explores how relationships mirror who we are and what we accept as our reality. Her writing takes many forms, but the main themes are usually about how people bond in this crazy, beautiful world.
Jen DuBois is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and educator based in Catskill, NY.
Sara Ayers is a musician and sound-based artist who has performed in numerous bands in the NY Capital District including The Dialtones, AKA/etc and New Shiny Things. More recently, she released a series of vocally-based ambient recordings. She is currently co-editor of Nippertown, a hyper-local arts and entertainment website