''I like to say I went from being a Hag to being a Bitchin' Babe, which is clearly a promotion,'' jokes local singer-songwriter Debi Smith. Smith, once associated with the all-women Irish music group The Hags, is now a member of the comedic music ensemble Four Bitchin' Babes. The Falls Church resident has actually been a bitchin' babe for nearly two decades, since joining the national band in 1994.
''The group has gone from being just four performers, sharing a stage, to offering more of a thematic musical revue, with shtick,'' says Sally Fingerett, the only founding Babe in the current lineup. New York-based artist Christine Lavin started the group in 1990 in part as a vehicle to promote female folk singer-songwriters. Now-established folk-pop artists Patty Larkin and Julie Gold are among former members of the Babes.
Four Bitchin Babes
(Photo by KendraChilson)
The Columbus, Ohio-based Fingerett says the band, which includes Philadelphia-based comedic singer Deirdre Flint and Grammy-winning lesbian multi-instrumentalist Marcy Marxer, is more focused on the funny side of things than ever. The foursome recently released Mid Life Vices: A Guilt Free Musical Revue and is gearing up to perform its humorous holiday show ''Jingle Babes'' at the Birchmere, where the Babes band was essentially born. (The band recorded its first album, Buy Me, Bring Me, Take Me, Don't Mess My Hair: Life According to Four Bitchin' Babes, at the venue.)
Fingerett will offer her rewrite of ''The Dreidel Song'' as well as her autobiographical ditty, ''Jewish Kid Born on Christmas Day.'' Among other highlights, Smith will sing the traditional ''O Holy Night'' and Marxer will lead the Babes in her jam, ''Boogie Woogie Santa Claus.''
Smith sums up the Babes' outlook to songwriting and performing: ''We look at life, as it's happening, usually in a comedic way – [and] through a wacky viewfinder.''