Courtesy of Paula Masters Travis
Sisters are often known to gossip or share one another’s clothing, but how many sisters do you know that rock out on stage together?
If you’re interested in a “sister act,” the idea of siblinghood will be on display when Lydia Loveless performs at Rumba CafÃ©, located at 2507 Summit St. The show is scheduled for 10 p.m. Friday.
Lydia Ankrom, who goes by Lydia Loveless, a rock ‘n’ roll country artist, will deliver the main performance, and her sister, Jessica Ankrom, who goes by Jessica Wabbit, will dish out the opening act with her band, The Girls!
Although you wouldn’t recognize it by their stage names, Loveless, 21, and Wabbit, 25, are sisters from Coshocton, Ohio.
“When I was about 6 years old, I started playing piano by ear, so my mom found me a teacher, and I took eight years of piano lessons,” Wabbit said.
The sisters were raised in a musical household, whether they were performing music themselves or blaring their favorite artists through the stereo. It helped spark the interest for each of them.
“I just had a really musical family,” Loveless said. “We were always playing some kind of instrument.”
In 2004, the sisters made up part of a four-member band called Carson Drew, named after the father in the well-known “Nancy Drew” books. The band broke up in 2007.
“I was moving to New York and that was pretty much when we officially broke up,” Wabbit said. “Lydia had started playing country more anyways and was doing her own shows, so it was kind of naturally dissipating anyway.”
Loveless and Wabbit, who now live in Columbus, will be taking the stage together for the first time since 2007, but this time each with their own band.
Loveless said she always knew playing music was the only thing that held her attention. She signed with Bloodshot Records in 2011.
“It just kind of made sense for me to do that at the time,” Loveless said. “Signing to a label isn’t always the best decision to make, but for me it was, just to get the exposure and distribution.”
After joining the label, Loveless released her second album, “Indestructible Machine,” in September, which was named after the title of a poem she wrote.
“I’ve been wanting to insert the ‘indestructible machine’ line into a song for a while, and then I did and it kind of just made everything click with the album,” Loveless said. “It’s basically about addiction.”
Loveless and her guitar player write most of the songs for the band, Loveless said.
“I can’t really take all the credit in that respect, because everyone does contribute a lot to the songs, but I pretty much write the bones of the songs,” Loveless said.
Just like her sister, Wabbit is one of the main contributors of the songs written for her band, “The Girls!” The five-member garage pop band relies mainly on Wabbit and keyboardist Ryan Vile to produce lyrics for its songs.
Wabbit said “The Girls!” formed recently, but it has since recorded its first single, “Rodney,” which will be released May 19.
“We pretty much pull influences from all genres, and we have varying influences and different idols,” Wabbit said.
Although the sisters’ genres vary, the inspiration behind many of their songs is strikingly similar.
“I write about things that make me angry or sad and then stuff that happens to people I know,” Loveless said. “Mostly I just try to keep it in my real life.”
Similarly, Wabbit said their songs might seem happy, but they are usually about sad things, such as breaking up.
Even with separate genres and bands, Loveless and Wabbit have realized there are advantages and disadvantages that come with working in the same industry as a sibling.
“You’re talking about sisters here, so there’s push and pull,” Wabbit said. “For the most part, we’re very supportive. We’re always proud of each other.”
This will be the first time the girls will appear in a show together in years, but it’s not the first time Loveless will be performing on stage at Rumba CafÃ©.
Todd Dugan, managing partner at Rumba CafÃ©, said he’s had a close relationship with Loveless since she began performing there about four years ago.
“It’s been sporadic over the years,” Dugan said. “She’ll be gone for six months and then she’ll play one gig, and then another gig in a couple months. Then she’ll be gone again.”
Loveless will be going overseas next month to begin her tour in Europe, but not before putting on a show with her sister and possibly giving a sample of what the future might hold.
“Not saying this is necessarily going to happen, but when I’ve played a recording for (Lydia), and she’s seen a couple of our shows, she’s commented a couple times saying she wanted us to tour with her,” Wabbit said.
Whether the sisters will be touring together is unclear, but the main focus for each band is to put on a rocking show at Friday’s performance, which is expected to come close to selling out, Dugan said.
Tickets are $8 at the door.