Special/Signature Issues » Belle

Two-Part Harmony

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The Queen of England digs Marna & Macy.

The mother-daughter duo rocked the royal socks right off Her Majesty during her highly publicized Richmond visit. "It was a real honor to be part of that day," Marna Bales says. "It felt very surreal and kinda like we were watching a movie."

To top it off, she says: "Someone at the governor's office asked the queen what her favorite part of visiting Richmond was, and she said, 'The music.' That's pretty cool."

Bales and her daughter, Macy, are no strangers to the spotlight. The country-rock twosome has shared the stage with such names as Sara Evans and Charlie Daniels, played K95's annual CountryFest twice and even snagged airtime on the GAC channel with their video for their single "Wave." Needless to say, these girls have been busy.

Marna Bales has been going strong for a generation. From singing in church to being part of a local cover band, Bales followed the music wherever it took her, as long as it didn't infringe upon her time with Macy. "I used to only book shows within a three-hour drive to be sure I could get home before Macy woke up," she says. "As she grew older, I needed to be there more for her." Eventually, Marna took a day job and performed at night while balancing the duties of motherhood.

Then things just started to fall into place. She married her producer/drummer, Jody Boyd, and watched her daughter grow up to excel at music and study at the revered Shenandoah Conservatory. Macy tinkered around in the studio with her mom, tracking background vocals on the latest release "Boys Will Be Boys." But it was a dare by friends that put her onstage. The family's devotion to songcraft and performing would eventually shape The Marna Bales Band into Marna & Macy.

Macy, 23, knows her parents rock, but she still cringes when certain things happen onstage. "I know I have cool parents, but no one ever wants to admit that," she says. "I'll often mention at a gig how embarrassed I am of the dorky comments [my mother] makes." Macy also adds that she cracks up when "guys my age don't even bother with me and move right on to my mom."

But it seems that Macy isn't the only one losing it in front of audiences. "Macy has some great one-liners," her mom says. "Sometimes I have trouble finishing the song without bursting out laughing." Their comical banter has evolved into part of their show, and it's no surprise that folks go bananas for these two: They're real people making no-frills music.

With impeccable harmonies and gutsy lyrics, they snag the best of influences like Sheryl Crow and Gretchen Wilson and make it their own. Flanked by their finely tuned backing band, The Boys of Dogtown, the ladies blaze through set lists that encompass everything from blues-tinged rock 'n' roll to country so authentic you'll be picking red dirt out of your ears when it's over.

While they've spent some time in Nashville meeting with industry people and learning the ropes of "the biz," the future is uncertain in the best kind of way for the women. On the list of to-dos are songwriting workshops, networking and hammering out new material to be produced next year … and they'll gladly accept an invitation from Keith Urban should he like to record a song or two. Simply put, Marna says, "We're enjoying the ride as much as possible."



The band's latest disc, "Boys Will Be Boys," is available online, along with tour dates, at www.marnamacy.com.

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