Douglas County Daughters is another firm example that music is a place where sibling rivalries can fall by the wayside. After growing up in Douglas County, Neb., surrounded by their mother’s passion for 1940s music, sisters Mollie Ziegler and Emily West became classically trained musicians. The two pursued professional music careers with different groups before coming together to form Daughters, honing in on the vintage Americana sound originating from their roots.
With West primarily on drums and Ziegler on piano, the group evokes small-town charm with their repertoire of old-timey cabaret meets rockabilly, yet every song, classic or original, is characterized by the sisters’ memorable and effortless vocal harmonies. “Everybody loves a sibling harmony,” Ziegler says. “It’s what we think we’re best at. We really only ever use instruments as a way to accompany our voices.”
The Daughters share the limelight as seamlessly as they share a family bond, playing off each other’s strengths to create a cohesive entity. While West shines in her commanding stage presence, Ziegler says she feels more comfortable in the studio. It doesn’t hurt that the two have been making music together since childhood, learning to harmonize on road trips in the car. “I would have to say that Emily is one of the best musicians I know,” Ziegler says. “If I were to just start from scratch and wonder who should be in my band, I would pick my sister because I want to work with people who make me better.”
Douglas County Daughters play with Redwood Son at the Axe & Fiddle Anniversary Celebration, 8 pm Friday, Nov. 29, at Axe & Fiddle, Cottage Grove; free.