The Shaggs to Reunite For Wilco's Solid Sound Festival

by VVN Music

Before the Go-Go's...a full decade before...there were the Shaggs.

The group, made up of Freemont, New Hampshire sisters Dorothy, Betty and Helen Wiggin, were loud, not well synced and, according to Rolling Stone, sounded "like a lobotomized Trapp Family Singers". In other words, their "sound" (using the word loosely) foreshadowed many of the styles of punk.

The band stayed together until 1975, with a fourth sister, Rachel, eventually joining, and recorded just one album, Philosophy of the World, which only saw about one hundred copies actually make it to the marketplace.

So, why is such a footnote in rock history so important. Well, they had their admirers. Frank Zappa played one of their songs while guesting on Dr. Demento in the early-70's. In 1980, members of NRBQ convinced Rounder Records to reissue the album and, in the 90's, Kurt Cobain put the album at number 5 on his list of the all-time best.

The group's reputation continued to grow over the years until, in 1999, they reunited for the NRBQ 30th Anniversary Concert in New York.

Now, eighteen years later, Dorothy, Betty and Rachel (Helen died in 2006) will reunite once again for Wilco's Solid Sound Festival, set for June 23 to 25 in North Adams, MA.

The festival will also include the likes of Jeff Tweedy's side band Tweedy, Television, the Robert Glasper Experiment, Peter Wolf and the Midnight Travelers, Kurt Vile and the Violators and Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin with the Guilty Ones. The full lineup can be seen at the Solid Sound website.

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