The Santa Croce Band is six siblings who came from a home grown musical background. In three short years they have crafted original songs from a variety of genres, released a CD, toured throughout New England, and just recently signed on with a management company.
The story of their entry into the music world was not planned. "We sang with our mother together a lot when we were young," says Brittany, the oldest of the sextet. “We have had some lessons – piano, mandolin, banjo, guitar, and voice coaching. Mostly we are self-taught."
Then three summers ago the family was at a party and started singing together. “Gary Skillings heard us and e-mailed us the next day,” said Becca. “We started opening for Gary's band. Our first gigs were at local campgrounds and then we played at the Pickle Festival.”
"Our first gig was a half hour" recalls Brittany. “We did covers of songs like Judy Blue Eyes and California Dreaming. Then we doubled the songs we could do and had an hour's worth of music for our second gig. In less than six months we had enough music for a two hour concert.”
By May of 2012, the siblings had eleven songs written by Brittany, Becca, and Olivia. Chris Sonia of Dauntless Mastering recorded and mastered their CD, At The Crossroads. "We decided on the name because we were at a point where we needed to decide if we were ready to make a commitment to this,” Becca explained. “As the oldest and the leaders of the band, it was really a decision Brittany and I had to make. We would need to practice individually and with each other, write the music, keep our instruments safe and so on. And we would need to do this every day.”
"When we first started, Becca and I had some things to work out. We are both the leaders and our styles are completely opposite. But this is what we need, we complement each other," said Brittany. “But we certainly had our disagreements to begin with,” Becca chimed in with a laugh.
Last fall, the band signed on with MCM World Media “We are fans of Hunt Family Band”, explained Becca. “Our mother saw that Mark Carmen (of MCM World Media) produced their album so she decided to call him. And to her surprise, he picked up! We were playing at the Pumpkin Fest last October and Scott Orchard, Mark's partner, came to hear us and to talk about MCM working with and managing Santa Croce”
The band decided it would be a good move to get to Nashville to record a demo with Mark, and their new EP will feature four songs. Breakers is a sea shanty-ish song written by Brittany, inspired by her first eleven years living in Long Island. Not Now is a pop tune by Olivia about life on the road. And Becca’s Alba Gu Brath (Scotland Forever) is a victory tune about the thirteenth century Scottish Wars of Independence. Becca also wrote Holy Day, a Christmas song recorded in Weare, NH at Endless Recording Studio.
“We each have our own styles and favorite kind of music,” explained Brittany. “We are a different band than we were three years ago. We have a different sound; our voices have changed. And we have had a lot of thinking about what kind of band are we – folk, acoustic pop, indie? We see ourselves as a world band.”
Recently Santa Croce performed in Otter Brook State Park, sharing new material and introducing their management company. The future holds much promise, but they are not forgetting the past. “We have people we can thank for helping us along the way,” said Brittany. “And three in particular - Gary Skillings for getting us started with gigs. B J Boucher who funded the Crossroads CD. And Norm Vaine who helped us out with our first sound system.”
Santa Croce Band will be performing in the Monadnock region this month at the Walpole Flea Market. For more information about the band, hear and purchase their music, or to check out upcoming performances, go to santacroceband.com. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Lynn Merlone is the founder of Monadnotes, a website featuring musical offerings and opportunities in the Monadnock region.Here you find pages with descriptions of local musicians by genre; music venues and events; music instruction; open mics, jams and karaoke; and musical groups for you to join.The Event Calendar boasts the most complete listings of musical events in southwestern New Hampshire.
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