Take your pick as far as what makes the band Busted Chandeliers unique.
Maybe it is, to the best of the members’ knowledge, that they are the only all-female rock band in the Quad-Cities. Or the fact that none of the women had played music in public until they got together. Or that between them they have a doctorate and three master’s degrees — in English, poetry and library science.
Or that their music is hard to classify, depending upon which of them wrote the songs they’ve been compiling since they were teenagers.
“What makes us interesting is that we’re all four individual songwriters. We take a little of what we have as individuals and blend them together for kind of a unique mix,” said Amy Falvey, the band’s pianist.
Busted Chandeliers (named after the light fixture or fancy earrings, depending upon who you ask) came together last fall. Falvey, guitar-bass player Erin Moore Waterman and guitarist-percussionist-ukulele player Maureen Carter, who had known each other since they were students at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, began having discussions over beverages at the Village of East Davenport Bier Stube.
“We’d all played instruments, but we’d never been in a band before. We’ve always wanted to be in a band,” said Carter, the marketing and promotions coordinator for the River Music Experience in Davenport.
“We didn’t know musically how we were going to work together. We just thought, ‘We’re all friends, we’ll all play music together, let’s see what we can do here,” Falvey added.
Falvey is on the English faculty at Augustana College in Rock Island along with Erin Marie Bertram, who brought percussion into the mix when she joined the band this spring. She had sold her drum set a week-and-a-half earlier, but was able to buy it back at a discount.
The individual compositions are eclectic genres, all four said, with hints of Latin, R&B, folk, rock, indie and others as starters. As group members write together, other sounds develop.
“We’re definitely in the process of collaborating on the stuff we’re doing,” Falvey said.
“I think we’re cohesive in a hybridized way. Every time we play together, it works,” said Waterman, a librarian for Genesis Health System.
“The more we play together, we keep building our experience and those collaborations get better and better,” Carter said.
Before the end of the summer, the band members hope to begin recording their first album.
The four will likely get their largest audience yet when they play at midday Saturday for the Downtown Davenport Street Fest. They will debut their only cover song — a “dark” version of Jewel’s “Who Will Save Your Soul?” — as well as bring some fun to the event, they say. Previous Busted Chandeliers performances have included a “Happy Birthday” serenade in four-part kazoo.
“I think we have the potential. We mix a lot of genres together, but that’s what makes our shows really fun and interesting. That’s what people like about us. We have fun when we play,” Carter said. “Some bands will sound great musically, but they don’t have a show quality that really blows me away. I think we do.”
IF YOU GO
Downtown Davenport Street Fest
When: 10 a.m. to midnight Friday, July 27; 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday, July 28
Where: 2nd Street, between Brady and Ripley streets
How much: Free
Information: Downtown Davenport.com
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jason Carl Band; 1:45-3:30 p.m., Night People; 4-5:30 p.m., Orangadang; 6-7:30 p.m., Superfly Samurai;8-9:30 p.m., The Eugene Smiles Project; 10-11:45 p.m., Vodkaseven
10-11 a.m., Keep Off the Grass; 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Busted Chandeliers; 1-2:30 p.m., Dirt Road Rockers; 3-5 p.m., Identity Crisis; 5:30-7 p.m., The Dawn; 7:30-9:30 p.m., Bob Dorr and the Blue Band; 10-11:45 p.m., Funktastic Five