Boys and Girls

Seven-piece Brooklyn band with Syracuse connections comes to the Westcott

Vocal harmonies ascend and descend with and against each other while a small orchestra of viola, bass, cello, guitar and drums flow like liquid smoothly beneath in the song “Water.” The seven-piece group, all boy/all girl, features young Brooklyn musicians, one of which, Danielle Lovier (vocals, ukulele), came from Liverpool and will be returning to Central New York to play the Westcott Theater on Friday, Aug. 16.

The unique sound is the product of a unique band, one brought together by an interesting combination of busking and Craig’s List.

“I started playing on the streets playing cover songs,” Lovier, 24, says in a phone interview from Rockland, Maine. “I met Nick {Rahn} there {in Philadelphia where they both attended University Arts}. He saw how much money I was making and asked if he could play on the streets with me. We did that for a year and toured across the U.S. for three months after we graduated.”

Craig’s List came later, after the duo’s cross country trip and a move to New York City. They were performing as Olive Juice and primarily played covers, with Lovier on uke and Rahn, 23, on upright bass. However, they were looking to play some original material with a bigger band. The two cut some demos and put them up on Craig’s List. The response brought them a solid group of talented musicians that clicked. There were only a few “classic Craig’s List” responses.

“One drummer sent a video of himself playing hard rock stuff shirtless,” Lovier says. “He kept dropping the sticks. He couldn’t even do that right.”

The Brooklyn-based band primarily stays near the city, doing day trips and one-offs, but recently bought a 12-passenger van so it can take the whole family on the road. It’s a challenge to organize so many members, but the magic of the music is in the thick textures, so much so, that on the record and at some performances trumpet and trombone players also sit in. The trumpet player is another Brooklyn-based Syracuse native, Ryan Benz.

“Getting the schedules aligned is really the heard part,” Rahn says.

Regardless, the group makes it work and takes advantage of the busy New York City scene. With so many venues available and a huge audience hungry for the next big thing, NYC provides a lot of opportunities, though it’s not without its challenges.

“There are so many bands in New York trying to make it,” Rahn says. “It’s really competitive. It’s a more difficult scene to break into than Philly.”

“But you get really spoiled living in New York,” Lovier says. “You get used to having everything available. And you’re never worried you’re playing the same venue all the time. In Nick’s neighborhood, there are 20 venues, at least.”

Rahn chimes back in, “There is a really great scene happening in New York, but I think it’s more enjoyable from the outside.”

Though busking is largely in the past for the band, sometimes all seven make it out for a street performance.

“The busking scene is really similar to the venue scene,” Lovier says. “It’s really over-saturated. In New York, you go to a park to play, and there are 16 other musicians there and they’re playing while walking on their hands. And for New Yorkers – that doesn’t even phase them.”

But sometimes the big band does. “We’ve done it a few times with the band,  and it’s really cool to have a lot of people on the street,” Rahn says. “We do it more for fun, not as much money to be made.”

Though they don’t do it as frequently, Lovier does attest to the effectiveness of busking as performance training. “I think it really helped with how we perform. You’re sitting there, seeing the people and not being so scared. I did theater, but it’s so different. You’re not playing a character. You’re playing yourself.”



Who: all boy/all girl, Emily Yates will open for ZBTB, a Zac Brown Tribute Band
Where: The Westcott Theater, 524 Westcott St.
When: Friday, Aug. 16, doors open at 8 p.m., show at 9
Tickets: $10 to $12
For information, visit


Danielle Lovier: vocals/ukulele
Jessie Rogowski: vocals/guitar/keyboard
Joshua Curry: guitar
Hannah Levinson: viola
Richard Vaudrey: cello
Nicholas Rahn: double bass
Tyler Erickson: drums

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