About these Purdies...The Awful Purdies are an eclectic quintet of female multi-instrumentalists who take turns stepping up as songwriter and lead singer. The ensemble purdify's each song they meet, letting the song lead the way. One song might require channeling the Andrew's Sisters, while another song might reach out to a rock-a-billy or Motown sensibility. With "The Katie's" (Katie Senn on cello and Katie Roche on accordion) laying down each songs base, their songs sound full and orchestrated, while Nicole Upchurch's banjo, Marcy Rosenbaum's mandolin and Sarah Driscoll's guitar skillfully root the Awful Purdies fully in the modern folk genre.
Purdify — v To give something the property of being created and/or modified by the all-female group Awful Purdies, especially songs. See also “psycho-folk” and “new folk.”
The Purdies are: Katie Senn (cello, violin, string bass), Nicole Upchurch (banjo, guitar), Katie Roche (accordion, xylophone, whistles, percussion), Sarah Driscoll (guitar, hand-claps), and Marcy Rosenbaum (mandolin, guitar)
Katie RochePlays: accordion, xylophone, penny whistle, recorder, wash board, saxamaphone
Hometown: Asbury, Iowa (a.k.a. Dubuque, IA), lived in Brooklyn, NY for a spell, now lives in Iowa City, IA
Other projects: The Erratic Lisa's, Family Groove Company, King She, The Dioramas, Katie Roche and the Gentlemen of Liesure, Broke Out Steppers, Thee Almighty Handclaps! and the soon to debut solo project: Sister Wife. She also plays jazz and just plain good songs with Rob Lumbard and can be seen regularaly at Clinton Street Social Club in Iowa City doing that thang that they do so well.
About this here Purdy: works as the Development Director of The Englert Theatre, is married to the greatest guy this north of texas, has two adorable children nick-named Beppe and Roux and is an original member of the Awful Purdies (since 2006 y'all!).
Nicole UpchurchPlays: banjo/guitar
Hometown: Rexburg, Idaho
Also lived in: Bozeman, MT and Tiffin, IA
Other projects: The Feralings, Second East (just her and her four brothers)
About this here Purdy: Nicole enjoys working with little people; she is currently teaching preschool and early elementary Spanish/Music; she and her husband (whom she adores) have three children of their own.
Katie SennPlays: Cello
Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN
Also lived in: Shaker Heights, OH
About this here Purdy: Katie began studying the cello at age 6. She graduated from Coe College in 2005 with a degree in music and is currently the director of orchestras at Jefferson High School and Wilson Middle School in Cedar Rapids, IA. This here cellist has been gigging and recording on all sorts of projects over the past 10 years. She lives in North Liberty with her husband Bob and children, Jackson and Ashleigh.
Marcy RosenbaumPlays: Mandolin/Guitar/Bass
Hometown: Iowa City, IA
Also lived in: California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, England
Other Projects: Half Fast
About this here Purdy: Marcy has played music since she was 8 and considers it as necessary as food and air in keeping her healthy and happy. She teaches at the University of Iowa. She lives with her husband (her best friend) who is a consistent and gracious host for Purdies’ practice. She likes to talk about squirrels and add unnecessary letters to words.
Photo and Media credits