Contrary to popular belief, waltz music is not dead. It may seem like waltz music was a casualty in the evolution rock and roll or the rising of pop music, but such isn’t the case. In fact, the waltz, or valse, is doing fine in the hands of brother and sister act Sunshine Brady and the Moonlight Lady.
Local band Sunshine Brady and the Moonlight Lady is one part guitar, two parts smooth harmonies and is mixed with the charm of old radio. The brother and sister duo, Ryan Hayes and Becca Washburn, combine their musical prowess for good in their nostalgic folk-rock band.
Guitarist and vocalist, Hayes writes the songs while Washburn sings and writes the harmonies. Together they produce an act that has been beckoned back to campus and through the community several times.
They describe their sound as folk music, as in early ‘60s folk. They work to produce a happy and enigmatic sound.
“We don’t want to base our music on already known music,” Hayes said. Though admitting that influence from the Mamas and the Papas and the vintage LDS band the 3Ds crept into their sound. “We try not to put a lot of emotion into our songs – sure they’re sappy, but it’s pretty much all a big joke,” said Hayes
While Hayes has been playing guitar for nine years and singing for longer, his sister didn’t join him in the vocals until they were both at school at BYU–Idaho. Their band began in the summer of 2007. A successful show at Acoustic Cafe escalated to a performance at the university’s Best Of Show event. By that point, they had their foot in the door.
The band wants to continue playing, and has even begun forming friendships with other local musicians as additional shows fell into place. In spite of this success, however, a force outside their control has threatened the band’s progress: life.
“Singing and playing has been a lot of fun while we’re at school, but I’m graduating soon and about to have a baby,” Washburn said. “But you don’t have to be in a band to make music.”
Last seen opening for Spondee and Finn Riggins at the Box, the duo has made local appearances everywhere from Music Outlet to the Westwood, and are planning a Christmas set in December.