The four talented ladies who make up Farewell Angelina – Lisa Torres, Nicole Witt, Andrea Young and Ashley Gearing – are far more than band mates. They’re a true sisterhood, laughing together in conversation, ribbing one another in good-natured fashion and sharing common bonds like well-crafted songs and fine, robust wine.
It’s no shocker, then, that Farewell Angelina’s current single, appropriately titled “Women and Wine,” speaks to strong female friendship as well as that popular libation. The theme is assertively summed up in the key lines, “You know two things only get better with time/Women and wine.” The song title is also the name of their upcoming EP, set for release January 25th, and their headlining tour, which will play to venues all across the country.
The group, named after a Bob Dylan tune, has released previous singles, but “Women and Wine” looks to be that breakthrough hit so essential to young acts. “We sure hope that’s what happens,” smiles Torres. “This is something that really captures what we do and who we are. We love our friends, we love wine. Men love women and wine (laughter). There is something for everyone.”
Young feels that “Women and Wine” is a true showcase for each member. All four sing and play their own instruments, with fiddle players Young and Witt complementing the guitars of Torres and Gearing. Their combination of musicianship, songwriting acumen and air-tight harmonies call to mind such acts as Little Big Town, Fleetwood Mac and the Dixie Chicks.
“On ‘Women and Wine,’ it’s all four of us singing a lead part,” says Young. “That’s one of the great things about this song. It was important to us to have something where we all trade off the leads in one song.” Adds Witt, “We’re all getting the chance to say something.”
Original members Torres, Witt and Young met while they were pursuing their artistic passions in Nashville. In July of 2018, Gearing was invited to be the fourth member, replacing Lauren Lucas. Gearing started as a solo artist, landing a record contract in her teens and releasing a couple of singles in the mid-2000s, which met with mild chart success. She’s thrilled to be joining the Farewell Angelina sisterhood.
“I had opened for them before, so it just naturally evolved,” Gearing recalls. “They were like, ‘Please come and make this a full time thing.’ It’s been a nice transition for me. They have welcomed me with open arms.” To which Torres quips, “You’re almost through with the hazing period.”
“It’s so much more fun to do this with friends than by yourself,” Gearing continues, flashing a full smile. “There is a lot less pressure onstage because we kind of have each others backs.” She admits that, at first, she felt some nerves about making rookie mistakes like missing cues. “Andrea was like, ‘I can’t wait until you’re not nervous anymore.’ Now, I’m just like, ‘Woo-hoo!’ I put that pressure on myself early on,” Gearing adds, “but now, we’re just having so much fun.”
These girls have quite a bit of fun, as Cyndi Lauper might exhort, on the video series they recently launched, “Wednesday Wine Buzz.” In the grand manner of the Today show’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, the ladies share funny stories and observations while sipping wine, revealing their individual personalities. “I don’t know that we’ll do this every week,” notes Torres, “but so far, it’s been great. It’s an opportunity for our fans who listen to us to really see our personalities.” Adds Witt, “We wanted to put a couple out there and see where we want it to go. There will be more of them.”
Farewell Angelina plans to be highly visible throughout 2019, hitting the road on their “Women and Wine” tour and playing several release parties to launch the EP. They have some additional goals, which they shared, among a few other items, in their conversation with Sports and Entertainment Nashville.
S&E Nashville: So like a lot of bands, you do have some weird road stories.
Torres: There is one I remember. I was setting up the merch on one show and this guy comes rolling in on this little motorized scooter. He had on this Pokemon looking backpack. Anyway, he runs right into Andrea. And I’m thinking, ‘Who is this person?’ It was the funniest thing.
Young: Festivals are always crazy, too. The crowds are different but they’re so fun. If you can get them behind you, they are your fans for life.
S&E Nashville: With Ashley coming on board, does it provide an extra element to your sound?
Gearing: It sets us apart and allows us to do four part harmonies. That makes us very unique.
Torres: Having that fourth person adds a little magic to it. You get that wall of sound.
Witt: I think that, with four of us, there are certain things we can do that no one else can.
S&E Nashville: What are you looking forward to in 2019?
Gearing: Well, my resolution for the New Year is . . .
Torres: Wait, this is the first time we’re hearing this. (Laughter)
Gearing: My resolution is making more time to write on the road. It is so exhausting when you are on the road that you kind of forget to do that. It’s keeping that creative process and staying in that creative mode.
Torres: One thing we set for ourselves was to play overseas. That has come to fruition this year. [The band is booked for shows in Switzerland and Spain this summer]. We get to take Ashley for her first trip overseas ever.
Gearing: Look out Europe.
Witt: We’re also just hoping to have new experiences this year. We want to take our music to another level.
Torres: And a No. 1 record would be nice!