Talented, committed and beautiful, The Champion Sisters have a very special synergy about them. Brenda, Sandra, and Molly make up this trio of real life sisters, but beyond being blood related, these ladies share a common bond that runs very deep: their passion for music.
With Brenda and Sandra being identical twins and Molly being a year younger, the Champion Sisters feel more like triplets. “We are best friends. We share many interests, but the most important one is music. We started singing together since we were little girls.”
The sisters were inspired and influenced by their late father, George Champion, who was a country western musician and singer that played with musicians like Johnny Bush, George Jones and on the Gulf Coast Jamboree with Utah Carl. Sadly, he passed away from a heart attack at the age of 39. The girls, who were just babies at the time, never really got to know him. But they never lost sight of the county western musical roots that were instilled in them at an early age.
Their latest release Unfit To Be Tied is a pure country album, blending a little bit old style country with a more current sound. The release mixes deep southern vocal sounds with soft harmonies. Described by the ladies as fun, sexy, fresh and real (as in “not a manufactured sound”), Unfit To Be Tied was recorded and produced at SugarHill Recording Studios under the guidance of Andy Bradley, a 35-year veteran in the music industry.
The sisters are native Houstonians and their strong musical family history was covered briefly in Andy Bradley’s new book “Hits from the Hill”. Their father also recorded at SugarHill back in the 50 and 60’s, which they didn’t know until the studio historian brought to Bradley’s attention.
Bradley, who has produced and engineered number of Grammy-nominated projects and for a variety of labels, brought his version of an A-team together for their latest CD, including producer/arranger Mark Andes, co-producer/co-arranger on select tracks Kenny Cordray, and co-arranger on select tracks Tyson Sheth. Andes was a founding member of Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, and Firefall, and a member of Heart from 1982-1992. He produced Real World Magic, his solo record, Jo Carol Pierce’s Dog of Love and now Unfit To Be Tied. Andes has also performed and recorded with Austin, Texas artists including Alejandro Escovedo, Ian McLagan, Kelly Willis and Eliza Gilkyson until his recent relocation to the Houston area.
Several songs on the album were written by Kevin Brandt and Bobby Terry of Nashville, who have also written for Faith Hill, Montgomery Gentry and Reba McEntire, among others. Other writers on the album include Mark Andes, Andy Bradley, Kenny Cordray and Brenda Champion herself. The record was mastered at Essential Sound Mastering with Allen Corneau.
The album starts off with the high energy song “License To Love,” written by Kenny Cordray, which vibrantly showcases the harmonic talents of the sisters, and proves to be one of the album’s strongest tracks. “Ain’t That Right” captures “how most of us have felt in a relationship gone bad.” “Beauty Way”, which was written by Mark Andes and co-written with Eliza Gilkyson, touches upon the sisters’ history of losing their father very early in life. “Sharp Dressed Man” is a fun remake of the classic ZZ Top hit, but more like a “female take” of the song. “Rock In A River” is one of the more inspirational songs on the CD and “Unconditional Love,” written by Brenda Champion, was influenced by her sister’s first experience with breast cancer in 1997. The lyrics came later after the birth of her two daughters. Both “Tomorrow I’m Gonna Be Gone” and “Unfit To Be Tied” were selected for the album because they reminded the sisters of their childhood, being the “throw down hoe down songs!” on the album, as they fondly remember their great grandfather playing the fiddle for them.
“Unfit To Be Tied was agreed as our album title because of the lyrics. We have lots of tongue and cheek songs, this one is fun seemed to tie it all in.”
At the early ages of four and five the Champion Sisters developed an interest in music, and since age 17, they have been performing. They studied piano, theory, and woodwind instruments such as flute, clarinet and alto sax. They started out singing in church, and initially became known as the group Adoration, which allowed them to travel the country singing contemporary gospel along various Christian artists. After being on the road, Adoration recorded a song called “Song For Broken Hearts” which was written and produced by Jerry MacPherson who played guitar for Amy Grant for 20 years. The song landed in the top ten for three months on KSBJ.
In 2000 they resumed their singing career with Paul English (renowned Texas pianist and composer) as their music director, and started singing Big Band/Jazz. In 2005 they released an album titled In The Mood, a big band, adult contemporary and jazz album released under the direction of English. In 2007 they released Christmas with the Champion Sisters, where the ladies recorded their favorite holiday tracks. Following this they were included on the The Star of Hope for the Holidays compilation CD in 2009, followed by Hits from the Hill, a 2011 Sugar Hill Compilation CD where they recorded Barbara Lynn’s 1962 #1 Hit “You’ll Lose a Good Thing.” They also recorded with Johnny Bush on “Why Baby Why.”
During this time they sang for George H. Bush, Sr., The Houston Grand Opera Ball, the Mayor’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, and the Houston Symphony’s Star Spangled Salute. They also had numerous appearances on Great Day Houston as well as performed for the Houston Texans, Astros, Comets and Aeros. With Molly being a two-time breast cancer survivor, Susan G. Komen is very near to the Champion Sister’s hearts. They have performed the National Anthem and “Amazing Grace” over the last six years for their opening ceremonies. In 2010 the Champion Sisters chaired the 20th Anniversary Houston-Komen Race for the Cure which raised over $5 million dollars.
In the last 10 years, The Champion Sisters have been singing jazz, big band, pop and country. One of the things that makes this group unique is their capability to sing any style of music. The ladies have always incorporated three part harmony into any genre, yet showcasing the sister’s individuality as well. All three of ladies sing lead vocals on various projects, but sometimes it is still hard to guess who is who. With their latest release Unfit To Be Tied, the sisters decided to go back to their country roots and are enjoying every moment of their harmonious career ride together.
For more information contact the Champion Sisters at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 713-204-7001.