Gillian Underwood and the Lonesome Doves

  • Genre
  • Alt-Country
  • Awards and Nominations
    • SAMMIES 2019 Nominee★ Country/Americana/Alt-Country ★
  • Musicians
    • Aviel Haberman — backing vocals, electric guitar
    • Gillian Underwood — acoustic guitar, vocals
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Q & A

All-time favorite song?


That’s too hard; I love a lot of songs! One of my favorites is "Cecilia" by Simon & Garfunkel!

How do you describe your music to people?


Romantic, intelligent storytelling songs about hardship, love and life.

Tell us about how the band formed.


This iteration, my old bandmate was getting really busy playing in other bands. I saw Aviel perform as a backup singer and guitarist and loved what she brought to the music. I had been wanting to perform with another woman, so I just went up to her and asked her if she’d play with me. She said yes! We started practicing and playing together, and we and the music just jelled. I couldn’t be happier; Aviel is amazing! We are becoming great friends!

Tell us about your best gig in Sac.


It was the Sam Cooke show at Old Ironsides that Jerry Perry organized and promoted. We had a blast, and so many rad bands played that night. It was as packed as Old Ironsides gets and just a beautiful, joyful night of live music. Jerry’s benefit at Harlow’s reminded me of that night; Sacramento coming together and having a great time. That was a great show to be part of, too. Playing for Jerry and Linda and all the old friends there that night was really special to me.

Tell us about your worst gig.


Probably a Halloween party that was outside in the freezing cold. My hands went numb, and I could barely play the guitar. Plus, I had just seen the movie The Ring, and there was this super scary outbuilding behind us that looked like part of the movie. It was freaking me out. I kept looking behind me in fear!

What was the first song you learned to play?


"This Land is Your Land."

What's next for the band?


We’re working on a new album and are going to promote it and play like crazy. We also plan on playing more shows in the Bay Area.

What's the story behind the band name?


We started as a full band called Gillian Underwood and the Handsome Gamblers, but then went down to a duo and eventually became Gillian Underwood and the Lonesome Doves. It was my old bandmates who insisted we include my name. I’m the singer-songwriter, and they wanted me to get the credit. I just kept it as the band changed because people recognize it now.

What's your favorite local artist/group?


Kevin and Allyson Seconds; Hair of the Dawg; Million Dollar Giveaway; The Lurk; Instagon; Drop Dead Red; Las Pesadillas; Be Brave Bold Robot; The Losin Streaks; Erik Hanson; Jenn Rogar; Larisa Bryski; Aviel Haberman; Catalina Edwards.

Who are your biggest influences?


Simon & Garfunkel, Dolly Parton, The Beatles, Peter Paul and Mary, Willy Nelson, Patsy Kline, The Beach Boys, OMD, Depeche Mode, The Bangles, Pat Benetar, Modest Mouse, Kat Power, Neko Case, Natalie Merchant, Fiona Apple, Beck and Blonde Redhead.

Who first inspired you to play music?


My dad did. He’s a guitarist and singer, too. And my mom, she put me in piano and guitar lessons as a kid and pushed me to sing and play in talent shows.

Words to live by?


Live life live!

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