Members of long-time RVA favorites, Black Girls, have come together with new musicians to create a project and leave the old controversial band name be
Members of long-time RVA favorites, Black Girls, have come together with new musicians to create a project and leave the old controversial band name behind.
Rikki Shay, a project of Drew Gillihan (vocals, keys), Jeff Knight (bass) Liam Breen (percussion), Stephen Farris (drums), Erica Jacobs (keys) and Brady Heck (guitar), has a few tracks together and hopes to get a final EP released at some point during Spring 2016.
Gillihan said Black Girls had run its course, and the Rikki Shay was a new project able to use the resources from the old band’s days. They have plenty to work with thanks to quality tunes, touring, and a band name that raised eye brows and Rikki Shay has already formed two tracks with the help of some high quality local collaborators.
First up is “Changing of the Heart:”
Gillian said the chord progression for this track had been floating around for some time, but the band got together and worked through it only recently. It was originally dropped on soundcloud a few months ago along side a social media update changing the band’s FB page from Black Girls to Rikki Shay. But the recent version had been reworked several times since.
The track also features Tyler Williams (Head and the Heart) on drums who, according to Gillihan, managed to “make sense” of the song.
The second track, “A Better place to live,” also featured a guest drummer: Neko Williams of People’s Blues of Richmond.
According to Gillihan, this track started with drums and was “campy, but cool.” He said they recorded the guitar part too fast originally, but things came together when Nico came over and came up with the rolling tom riff. They scrapped most of the original track, re-wrote the lyrics and the newer version was born.
Even though every step of the process so far has been in a band member’s basement, with no big-money studio space, the production and fidelity on these tracks are solid and show promise for a band that many of us loved but were a bit uneasy bringing up in public.
Will these new tracks bring Rikki Shay into the forefront of the RVA scene? We hope so, but you can find out for yourself when they open for Lucy Dacus Friday, March 4th, at the Broadberry.