When Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe (pronounced Kway-bee) raise their fiddles and play, audiences marvel. When the girls sing their vintage style three-part harmony, audiences are blown away. Add the extraordinary rhythm guitar of Joey McKenzie and the swinging upright bass of Drew Phelps and the Quebe Sisters Band becomes a force of nature. The QSB's unique brand of music has taken the Americana music scene by storm. They perform a refreshing blend of western swing, vintage country, bluegrass, jazz & swing standards, and Texas style fiddling.
Awarded the 2007 Crescendo Award by the Western Music Association and winner of the 2008 Western Swing Album of the Year from the Academy of Western Artists, the Quebe Sisters Band is touring behind their latest album, Timeless. Performance highlights include appearances at the Grand Ole Opry, the Kennedy Center, NYC's Lincoln Center, the Ryman Auditorium, the Marty Stuart Show, the Eddie Stubbs' Show on WSM, The Birchmere, the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree (as host band), the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and the National Folk Festival. In addition, the QSB has appeared in concert with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Merle Haggard, Asleep at the Wheel, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Riders in the Sky, and Marty Stuart. They have also had the pleasure of playing with billionare/ukulele enthusiast Warren Buffett and had the honor of performing for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.
"One thing is for sure, you don't see a group like the Quebe Sisters Band come along everyday," says Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs. "Give them your undivided attention and if you're not already, you too, will become a fan."
About the Quebes
In 1998 the Quebes heard Texas style fiddling for the first time at a fiddle contest in Denton, Texas. At ages 7, 10 and 12 they started taking fiddle lessons from Joey and Sherry McKenzie. From the start, all three sisters demonstrated talent, determination and a love for the music. Soon afterwards, the girls began competing in fiddle contests and had success early on; winning regional, State and National championships.
Since then the Quebes' repertoire has grown to include a wide variety of styles: western swing, jazz and swing standards, western and cowboy songs, vintage country and bluegrass. In addition to their fiddling, it was only natural to add three-part harmony vocals and in January 2005 they debuted their singing at the National Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering in Elko, NV.
A short list of bands and musicians that influence and inspire the Quebes include Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys, Spade Cooley, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Quintet of the Hot Club of France, the Mills Brothers, the Sons of the Pioneers, Andy Parker and the Plainsmen, Connie Smith, Ray Price, Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, the Boswell Sisters, the Andrews Sisters, the McGuire Sisters, the Beatles and Hot Rize.
Some of the girls' favorite fiddle players are Benny Thomasson, Major Franklin, Orville Burns, Terry Morris, Norman and Vernon Solomon, Jim "Texas Shorty" Chancellor, Eck Robertson, Jimmie Don Bates, Kenny Baker, Svend Asmussen, Joe Venuti, Louis Tierney, Johnny Gimble, Paul Anastasio, Buddy Spicher and Tommy Jackson.
Joey's first musical experience began at age of 11, tuning the instruments his father had around their house - a guitar, mandolin, tenor guitar, and a tenor banjo. Around the age of 12, he started learning a few chords and licks on each of the instruments and has been playing them ever since. When he was 17, he became interested in playing the fiddle after becoming friends with Texas fiddle legend Benny Thomasson. "I went to fiddle contests just playing rhythm guitar, but I wasn't really inspired to play the fiddle. When I got the opportunity to back Benny up in a few contests and hear the way he played, all I could think about was trying to learn to play the fiddle!" It wasn't long before Joey began competing and has since won well over 100 fiddle contests and several awards on other stringed instruments. Some of his awards include three-time World Champion Fiddler, World Series of Fiddling Champion and five-time Texas State Guitar Champion.
Joey is enjoying his role as guitarist with the Quebe Sisters Band. He has always been fascinated with the great "behind the scenes" rhythm guitar work of players such as Eldon Shamblin, Homer Haynes, Eddie Lang, Karl Farr, Freddie Green and Oscar Moore. Besides playing guitar with the group, he also creates the band's musical arrangements.
Joey and his wife Sherry own and operate McKenzies' Music & Instructional Studio in Mansfield, Texas, where they teach traditional music on a variety of stringed instruments, specializing in fiddle instruction. He also enjoys restoring and collecting vintage stringed instruments and says he is still trying to get them in tune!
A native Texan, Drew was initiated into the world of music at an early age. In junior high he played tuba with the school band (and still plays it once a year for the 4th of July parade in his home town). One day his father brought home instruments for him and his twin brother. "I got a bass guitar and David got a guitar," he recalls. (David is currently a successful jazz guitarist in NYC.) During high school he discovered rock & roll and blues and started playing electric bass.
After graduating from high school, Drew enrolled in the nationally recognized music program at University of North Texas where he became enamored with the string bass. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Music degree from UNT, he received a full scholarship to attend the School of Fine Arts at the Banff Centre in Canada, as well as a National Endowment for the Arts jazz fellowship to study privately with legendary string bassist Dave Holland.
Drew is known as a versatile musician who is comfortable playing jazz and swing standards, western swing, country, and old-time music. He has performed and recorded with an impressive list of musicians, including the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Dixie Chicks, Mary Wilson, Sarah Hickman, Bernadette Peters, Jack Ingram, James Clay, and Bob Hope.
In addition to performing and recording, Drew is also a music instructor, teaching upright bass and music theory. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife Esther and their two boys, who are also talented musicians.
Drew is a welcome addition to the QSB and his bass playing helps shape the sound of the group and keep things swinging!