Friday, July 19, 2024

Striking Chords with Pink Paisleys

HomeMusicStriking Chords with Pink Paisleys

In the heart of Jacksonville, there’s a music revolution brewing, and it’s led by none other than “Pink Paisleys” – an all-female rock band composed of mostly women over fifty-five who are tearing up the local music scene.

From packed-out pubs to community festivals, these ladies, all but one in their fifties, sixties, and seventies, are bringing down the house with electrifying performances and infectious energy.

Vanya Thompson, manager, bass guitarist, keyboard player, and vocalist, started the group by accident in 2018. Thompson was already involved in two other musical projects and wasn’t looking for a third when she was approached by Women of Acoustics to perform in a show. “I thought I would put a few women together to do the show, and nearly four hundred people were in the audience that night and a new band was started,” says Thompson.

The band was named after a guitar Thompson got from the Estate of Riff West, who was the bass player in the 1970s for Foghat, Molly Hatchet, Gator Country, and a few others.

It was one of his favorite guitars but because it is pink, it never saw a stage until Thompson played it for the first time at The Jacksonville Landing in 2015.

“Some people don’t realize the time and effort that goes into learning songs. You spend a lot of time alone figuring stuff out,” she said. Bandmate and guitarist Carolyn Ward said for her the best part is seeing the joy it creates. “There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing people of all ages dancing, smiling and having fun! We had a lady in a walker dancing and smiling at a gig recently, and a little boy in diapers that ran to the stage, moving his little body up and down. That is pure joy!”

Suzie Farrell, the band’s drummer, taught to play the drums by her father at age six, was the first female to play in the U.S. Navy Band. Part of the band for twenty years, she is still hitting heads like nobody’s business at age seventy. “Music is my lifeline. It’s my way of life. I’ve played with great musicians over the years like Frank Zappa, in a group produced by Ian McDonald of Foreigner and others,” Farrell noted.

Members of Pink Paisleys, Suzie Farrell, Torrey Kingry, Carolyn Ward,
Freddy Hamrick, Charlotte Parker and Azaly Pelegrin perform on Jax Jams.
Members of Pink Paisleys, Suzie Farrell, Torrey Kingry, Carolyn Ward, Freddy Hamrick, Charlotte Parker and Azaly Pelegrin perform on Jax Jams.

Their journey is a testament to the power of music to unite and inspire, proving that age is no barrier to following your dreams and living life to the fullest. Be sure to catch them in action – because in our town, good music knows no age limits.

Check out their Facebook Page (facebook.com/pinkpaisleys) to book an event, or see upcoming dates at a favorite venue near you. For more information, contact them at (904) 343-7488.

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