Founded in Northern California in 2006, by song writing partners, Shannon Alley and Cindy Mooney, the band came together on a whim and quickly began shape shifting, with the addition of Karen McIntyre, percussionist turned bassist. What started as a folk cover band, featuring strong vocal talents and harmonious arrangements, gained energy and new direction, with the arrival of drummer Sara Maitri . Along came guitarist, Guy Sperry, talented and enthusiastic, opening the band to greater horizons. Rock and blues was born into the group, and with the vocals to pull it off, The Chick P’s have become infectious!
I recently looked at some old pictures and found a photo when I was maybe two years old with pig tails, Mary Jane’s and a plastic guitar in my lap. I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to play guitar and sing. I was officially big enough to start playing guitar when I was about 6 years old. My Mom and Dad arranged for our next door neighbor Mike to come over on Thursdays after school and show me a few strum patterns and chords. That lasted a few months and that was the last guitar lesson I had until I was 45 years old.
I remember house concerts with my sister Tracey, singing and playing in the bathroom, because we thought it sounded like a concert hall in there. We did garage shows and played at family gatherings, always the same songs because the grandparents loved them. After I left home for school and life, I mostly sang solo in coffee houses and the like during and after college until I moved to Truckee and found a rich music culture, made lots of new friends and met my current band mate Cindy. There I realized how much fun it is to play and sing with other musicians and really haven’t played solo much since.
My first real musical influence was Karen Carpenter. She was a chick; she played the drums and had the most pure, authentic voice I’d ever heard. Somehow at age 8 I knew what an authentic voice was. I sometimes get stuck between my passion for the singer/songwriter types and my love for Rock and soulful Blues. I am just as happy putting my spin on an AC/DC or Doors song as I am listening and interpreting artists like Brandi Carlile, Shawn Colvin, and Amos Lee.
Here's where I'm supposed to tell you how great I am at playing
the drums, how long I've studied and with whom. Well....I got nothing. When I was a kid I found a pair of my brothers drum sticks and would sit on the arm of the couch and play along to songs on the radio. Since then, I've taken formal lessons but mainly I just love how I feel when I'm playing the drums. It sort of balances me.
Growing up in a very church going family, I was a part of every church musical group imaginable. I played piano, guitar and sang. When I left home to go to college, I left my music behind as well. Twenty-five years later my friend Shannon Alley was playing the guitar and singing for a group of us. I found a pair of bongos and started playing along (NO, I am not the drummer). I started playing percussion with Cindy and Shannon shortly after that. I totally got the bug for playing and performing. A passion was unleashed. One day they said, “Karen, we need a bass player”. So I taught myself to play a little bass. I am having the time of my life!
I think I was about 6 or 7 when my Mom gave me a record player and some of her Leslie Gore albums. I became an immediate wanna-be Diva at that time. My Mom also got me my first "gig" singing a solo at my 6th grade school Christmas play. I was too shy to try out, but when she found out about it, she "stage-mommed" a private audition and I got the part! She's always been my number one fan and promoter, bottom line.
I've loved singing my whole long life. I am kind of a shy person, but the first time I had a band behind me and a mic in front of me, I found out that I actually DID have the guts to belt it out for whoever's listening. Now I do so, anytime I am given the opportunity. I like it even better if people dance and sing along!
Being born the day The Grateful Dead recorded their legendary concert, “Live at Manor Downs”, it seemed almost certain that my destiny lay as a musician. At age four, I began to be schooled in the art of Guitar by my uncles; blues legend John Earll and rock front-man Kelly Barbao (The Affordables, The K-Bar Band).
After wandering in a musical desert for many years, I was taken in by the Chick P’s. Grateful for like-minded musicians who can match my passion for a rockin’ good time, I'm more motivated than ever to rock everyone in earshot any chance I get.
Shannon Alley: Guitar and vocals
Sara Maitri: Drums
Karen McIntyre: Bass and vocals
Cindy Mooney: Vocals
Guy Sperry: Lead guitar
Past Booked Dates:
02-12-2011 — Bar of America Truckee, CA
02-11-2011 — Bar of America Truckee, CA
01-12-2011 — Naked Lounge Sacramento
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