On McKinney Music, “the best independent music magazine in the UK“, three-piece folk/Americana The Refugees to release CALIFORNIA, a tribute to the harmony-led California acts of the ’60s and ’70s.
The Refugees are a group of three musicians who made their name on the music scene as an unrivaled force of talent, variety, and experience. Cindy Bullens, Deborah Holland, and Wendy Waldman formed their unique and innovative group in 2007 and have since wowed audiences, radio DJs, and music critics with their soaring harmonies, indelible musicianship, and unforgettably humorous stage presence. Each of them has been successful as a solo artist.
With more than twenty solo albums and multiple Grammy Award nominations to their name, The Refugees have been in the business for almost five decades. Their music combines elements of country, rock, folk, blues, and Americana. To depict them as diverse would be putting it mildly. An entirely new sound has been created by these three artists through their unwavering passions and intense drive.
On May 19, 2023, they will release their most recent album, CALIFORNIA, which features ten covers of iconic harmony-oriented California bands from the 1960s and 1970s. The Refugees’ three-part vocals are one of their strongest features. Cindy had suggested to The Refugees that they make an album of some bands that had three-part harmonies and had a lot of influence on all three of them. The band went through a lot of songs and came up with this list.
These recordings are an homage to The Mamas and the Papas (“Monday Monday,” “Dedicated to the One I Love”), The Beach Boys (“Good Vibrations,” “Sail On Sailor”), The Byrds (“So You Want To Be a Rock and Roll Star”), Crosby, Stills, and Nash (“You Don’t Have To Cry,” “Carry On,”), Sly and the Family Stone (“Stand”), The Flying Burrito Brothers (“Sin City”) and Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”). Obviously, The Refugees put their own one-of-a-kind stamp on each track, making CALIFORNIA a festival of what was, yet a highlight of the power these tunes actually hold today.
Cindy Bullens, formerly Cindy, began her career as Bob Crewe’s studio backup singer and went on to tour with Elton John. Cindy was nominated for two Grammy Awards for her work on the soundtrack to the movie Grease and her own album Desire Wire.
She also wrote the musical Islands, which was performed on Broadway as a special tribute to 9/11, scored the award-winning documentary Space Between Breaths, and had several Nashville co-writes appear on the Country charts. In 2000, Cindy’s album “Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth” won the AFIM Award for Best Rock Album, making it a worldwide hit with grieving parents. In 2016 Cidny debuted his one-person show Somewhere Between Not an Ordinary Life. The show was voted Best Solo Show for 2016 by The Nashville Scene. His autobiography, TransElectric: My Life as a Cosmic Rock Star, is set for release in June 2023.
Deborah Holland began her career as a singer and songwriter for the critically acclaimed band Animal Logic, which featured virtuoso jazz bassist Stanley Clarke and Stewart Copeland of the Police. They released two albums, toured the world, had videos on MTV, VH-1, and Much Music, and appeared on numerous television shows (David Letterman, The Tonight Show, and others).
Jackson Browne performs a duet on “Another Place”, one of the songs on Animal Logic II. Deborah has scored dozens of films and television shows, including Circuitry Man, Longmire, Highlander 11, My Name is Earl, and The Beast, among others, and she has released six solo albums. She was a music professor at California State University, Los Angeles, for a long time before moving on to Langara College in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 2022, Animal Logic released two new singles. She is a citizen of both Canada and the United States.
Beginning with her critically acclaimed solo Warner Bros. records and continuing as a member of Bryndle (Karla Bonoff, Andrew Gold, Kenny Edwards), Wendy Waldman is regarded as one of the most influential recording artists and songwriters in music. Her first album was dubbed the “singer-songwriter debut of the year” by Rolling Stone in 1973.
She wrote dozens of songs for other artists, including Vanessa Williams’ “Save the Best for Last” and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s (then Garth Brooks’) version of “Fishin’ in the Dark, two of the most well-known songs of the past few decades. She is also highly regarded for her work as a record producer, overseeing numerous projects across a variety of genres, including Suzy Boguss, New Grass Revival, John Cowan, and Meitek Szczesniak, an international pop star.