Nashville band Wisewater to make their Tuscaloosa debut

By Drew Pendleton | Contributing Writer

Nashville band Wisewater to make their Tuscaloosa debut

Nashville Wisewater will perform Sept. 3 at the Green Bar.  Photo courtesy of Nashville Wisewater

The duo has years of musical experience between them. According to the event’s press release, Lee, who started playing the violin at age nine and plays fiddle in Wisewater, has played at the Country Music Association Awards and played backup for artists including Lady Antebellum, Rod Stewart and Keith Urban. O’Connor, who started on the mandolin at age 13 and now plays mandolin and guitar, recently won the Tennessee State Mandolin Championship in March. The two share vocal duties in Wisewater, which they defined as 
“contemporary folk.”

“[Contemporary folk] is a mix of old-time country and bluegrass, really kind of an Americana sound,” Lee said. “We kind of put all those under the same umbrella of ‘contemporary folk.’”

After meeting in January 2014 and Lee’s graduation from Belmont University in Nashville that May, the duo has performed across the United States, from shows in the Northeast and Southeast to a tour of the West Coast last year, which Lee said included stops in California and Oregon. According to their website, the band has also performed alongside artists such as Emmylou Harris and Ricky Skaggs, as well as performing multiple times at Nashville’s famous Grand Ole Opry venue.

The duo primarily performs original songs, but O’Connor acknowledged that 
the process of writing their own music 
is not always easy.

“We write a lot, but it’s harder to do that while you’re on the road, to devote energy to the process when you’re driving and eating and resting,” O’Connor said. “But at home, it’s easier. We’ve got friends in Nashville who we can co-write with, and we’re always thinking of new ideas.”

Lee said the duo’s preparation for 
concerts and tours for the most part stays the same. They drive themselves to performances in a minivan, create set lists, rehearse individually and together and will sometimes adjust their set to the venue at which they are performing. Having already performed in Birmingham and Fairhope, O’Connor said the set list for their Tuscaloosa debut will be more high-energy, while Lee said they are excited to see the reception they receive.

“We know Tuscaloosa is a college town,” Lee said. “We’re so excited to see young people interested in our music.”

Following their Tuscaloosa stop, O’Connor said they plan to return to Nashville to begin recording their first album. Their debut EP, “The Demonstration,” reached #13 on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts after its release last November, according to their website.

“We’re two young, positive people who focus on writing,” Lee said. “But you’ll also get an energetic show.”

Wisewater will perform on Thursday, September 3, at 10:30 p.m. at Green Bar in downtown Tuscaloosa.

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