The Sweet Tea Trio has heard enough of songs from men about drinking beer and driving a truck and being on a dirt road. Victoria Camp, Savannah Coker and Kate Falcon are on a mission to put the heart and soul back into country music.
“These days, country is typically what people call ‘bro country,’ said 18-year-old Coker. “We kind of want to change that. We want to bring back the traditional instruments – kind of like the Dixie Chicks. They just had a great way of mixing modern country and traditional country to perfection. They incorporated both so well.”
The Sweet Tea Trio is playing a sold-out show tonight at Dugger Mountain Music Hall in Piedmont.
The three young women met three years ago at the Birmingham-based young artist development academy known as Nashville Bound. The organization is focused on developing the talents of those who have the potential to have careers in country music.
After the program ended, the three decides to become a trio. “We all can play each other’s instruments, but typically on stage I stick to the mandolin, Kate sticks to the ukulele and Victoria sticks to the guitar,” said Coker.
Their songwriting process is also a collaborative effort, Coker said. “Victoria is the one that definitely has the most talent when it comes to writing, and she has taught Kate and I both how to write better, and different techniques.”
Their original songs are both introspective and fun, and riff on recreational activities (“Huntin’ Is Good”), the boys they let slip away (“My Daddy Would Have Loved You”) and tough maternal love (“You’ll Thank Me”).
“I just want [our music] to be encouraging, uplifting. Say if you have a bad day … you can just roll your windows down and drive down a highway and just feel good,” Coker said.
Though the group has been deliberate in the choices made to further their careers, their name came about as a bit of an accident. It was mentioned by a friend of Coker’s mother when the trio needed a name to call themselves for a competition.
“We were scrambling to find one. Well, Sweet Tea got mentioned. Me and Victoria said, ‘No that’s cheesy,’ but Kate said ‘No, I love that, we’re going with it.’”
Not only was it catchy, it ended up landing the group one of their sponsors: the appropriately named Southern Breeze Sweet Tea.
The Sweet Tea Trio has performed at festivals, concert venues and trade shows around the region. In the coming months, they will be everywhere from Alabama to Louisiana to Georgia. Their goals for 2016, Coker added, are releasing an EP and “trying to get a tour bus!”
Erin Williams is a freelance writer for The Anniston Star.