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Rising Stars [Issue #16]
Antigone Rising: From the Ground Up
By Lynne Bronstein
From the Ground Up (CD Lava)

If you’ve been to a Starbucks lately, you may have heard Antigone Rising’s From The Ground Up playing in the background. The Lava/Atlantic album, scheduled for release in record stores later this summer, has until now been available only at Starbucks outlets as a unique marketing strategy to introduce the public to new talent.

>> Kristen Henderson, the band’s guitarist explains: “We signed with Lava in 2003 and we’d been working on a studio album. [When] Starbucks came up with the idea to launch albums by new artists, Jason [Flom], who is the president of our label said, ‘It should be Antigone Rising.’” He arranged an audition, Starbucks said yes, and From The Ground Up made its debut at Starbucks stores in May. The CD has enjoyed surprising success, entering Billboard’s Comprehensive Albums chart at number 93, without radio or TV exposure.

Sisters Kristin and Cathy Henderson founded Antigone Rising some years ago when they were just out of college and living in the West Village. They got the band’s name from a character in Greek mythology whom they felt represented “a strong female heroine.” The band took shape with Kristen and Cathy on guitars, Dena Tauriello on drums, Jen Zielenback on bass, and a powerhouse lead singer known simply as Cassidy. After four years of playing full time, booking their own shows, and ignoring industry trends, their signing by Lava was a happy accident. Says Kristen, “Someone had sent Jason a demo of us - and he came out to one of our showcases and signed us on the spot. We weren’t looking for it but we said, ‘What the hell, we might as well try it.’”

From The Ground Up was recorded at New York’s Sony Studios with a live audience and captures Antigone Rising’s harmony-drenched “classic rock” sound. Songwriting is shared by Cassidy and the Henderson sisters. “We typically collaborate,” says Kristen. “I’ll write a song and I’ll bring it to Cathy and she’ll add a couple of things or I’ll do the same later to her songs.” Some exceptions include Kristen’s moving tribute to a deceased friend, “Michael,” and Cassidy’s take on a one-night stand, “Longshot.”

Mainstream popularity could be next for Antigone Rising but they’re grateful for the Starbucks break. “There was no better way,” says Kristin. “Especially with the climate of radio and how hard it is to break a new act.”

From the Ground Up

From the Ground Up Antigone Rising From the Ground Up

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