Sunday, June 21, 2009



Lovebettie, an alt-rock band that's a natural for The X, recently released their debut album "...and we're never coming back."

Forming up in early 2005, the band started out as the songwriting duo of Alexandra Naples (lead vocals, keyboards) and C.T. Fields (vocals, guitar). They added Matt Sharrow on bass (recently replaced by Dan Mulkeen) and Justin Banks on drums and percussion. They're all from the Greensburg area, except Mulkeen, who's from West View.

Fields, 27, is sort of the band's renaissance man. Not only does he perform and write, but he has a studio where he produces acts, a graphic design company, and is working on a book. He's also putting together a solo album.

Naples fronts the band with a bluesy, mature voice, and she brings a sort of pop sensibility to Lovebettie, penning ballads to mid-tempo songs.

Their sound alternates between the mellow tunes done by Naples, and the grungier rockers, backed by Fields, highlighting the difference in writing styles (although neither one is shy about tossing in a catchy hook).

It makes it a little difficult to pigeon-hole their sound; Aaron Jentzen of the City Paper likens them to Brownie Mary while Last.FM calls their music a "neo-soul, rock-pop mash up."

Fields explained to Sarah Simkin of the Pitt News: “We aren’t punk, we aren’t metal. We’re whatever we want to be. We like it that way.” Sounds like alt-rock to us.

They've been busy hitting the stages. In the past few weeks, Lovebettie has played with Rusted Root, The Clarks, a show at Club Diesel fronting A Freudian Slip, and just finished a Red Bull Hot Topics Tour, hitting the local malls.

They've also shared bills with Liz Berlin, Kill The Drama, and Donnie Iris, and played as part of the Hell on Heels tour.

They've get their live music out the old-fashioned way, through various "battle of the bands," and the local club and festival circuit.

Last year, they took second place in 105.9 The X and Hard Rock CafĂ©’s Winter Rock Showcase, and posted good showings competing in Warped's Top Ten Bands, and California University’s Annual Rocks 2 Riches competition. They have been filmed for Comcast On-Demand and been featured in Spin Magazine’s Hot Pursuit.

The album was released on the band's own indie label, Symbiosonic Records, though they're on the lookout for major-label love. They're moving it the new-fangled way, through the net, via iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, and other sites. Hey, who needs money when you have Pay Pal?

And for the big question - how did they become Lovebettie? The group says when it was looking for a name, they had some buds come over, and they all threw words into a hat. They pulled out two slips, and Lovebettie was the luck of the draw. Hey, sounds as plausible as any other method, right?

Don't worry if you can't find them playing much in July; Naples and Fields just got hitched. How's that for making music together? But their schedule takes off again in August, so like most honeymoons, it'll be short.

And it was. In early 2011, the band released a new EP, "The Red Door." Thy continue to explore different sounds, from garage rock to jazz. To support the recording, Lovebettie is going on a national tour, visiting Chicago, Nashville, New Orleans, Memphis and Houston before they play the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

"Dirty Mary" - Lovebettie live from Club Cafe

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