The Southern Belles are about to embark on a two-leg, sixteen-week tour with a new drummer, a growing dynamic, and all the more familiar live show excitement.
Former drummer and founding member of the Richmond-based quartet, Raphael Katchinoff, announced his farewell to The Southern Belles this December. He now tours with The Congress, also a four-piece band from Richmond.
Lead guitarist of The Southern Belles, Adrian Ciucci, was naturally sad to see his bandmate and adolescent friend leave the group they started in 2011 with Tommy Booker (keyboard) and later Andrew Carper (bass), but Katchinoff joining The Congress was on par with the drummer’s dream job. “We all knew that,” Ciucci said. “The friendships are definitely still intact.”
About a day after the news broke that The Southern Belles needed a new drummer, the band’s longtime friend and fellow musician, Aaron Zarrow, called Ciucci asking for the job. The Belles met Zarrow about two years ago while backstage at Some Kind of Jam Music and Camping Festival in Pennsylvania. Ciucci was blown away by Zarrow’s then band, The Royal Noise, and Zarrow felt the same way about The Southern Belles. After hitting it off well, the two groups have played gigs together and exchanged band members for sit-ins a few times since.
“The kid is really, really good,” Ciucci said of Zarrow’s playing. Having studied Jazz Performance at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, Zarrow is no stranger to the drum kit.
Nor is he new to The Southern Belles’ music, for that matter. “I’m really stoked to be given an opportunity like this, to play in a band who’s music I already enjoy listening to,” Zarrow said in a statement. “Now I get to contribute to a band’s sound that I feel is unique and powerful enough to go very far. I’m also walking into what seems to be such a tight knit, family-like fan base and support system, and that’s huge.”
Since the addition, The Belles decided to hold off on gigs for most of January so they could get comfortable playing together. With their first show coming up on Thursday at The Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, Ciucci thinks the group is as ready as ever. “Everything just feels very easy,” he said. “Aaron brings a really clean, really crisp sound to the drums that I think people are going to like a lot.”
The winter tour features the band’s first ever gigs in Florida, as well as familiar dates in the Northeast and Colorado. And, rest easy, the group’s first Friday tradition at Richmond’s The Camel remains, Ciucci assured.
Learn more about The Southern Belles on their website!
Written by Meredith Warfield
The Southern Belles Winter 2016 Tour
1/28- The Jefferson Theater, Charlottesville, VA *
2/5- The Camel, Richmind, VA ^
2/9- Blue Water, Jacksonville, FL
2/10- Guanabana’s, Jupiter, FL
2/11- Little Econ Love Fest, Jupiter, FL
2/12- Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin, FL
2/13- The Jam, Gainesville, FL #
2/19- Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY
2/21- Stella Blues, New Haven, CT
2/24- Nectar’s, Burlington, VT
2/25- Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs, NY
2/26- Thunder Road, Somerville, MA %
2/27- Stone Church, Newmarket, NH %
3/4- The Camel, Richmond, VA **
3/5- Preservation Pun, Knoxville, TN
3/8- Gabe’s, Iowa City, IA
3/9- The Bridge, Columbia, MO
3/11- Bohemian Biergarten, Boulder, CO
3/12- The Whisk(e)y, Fort Collins, CO
3/13- Lola, Denver, CO
3/14- Sancho’s, Denver, CO
3/15- Little Nell, Aspen, CO
3/16- Little Nell, Aspen, CO
3/17- Black Nugget, Carbondale, CO
3/18- Bonfire Brewing, Eagle, CO
3/19- Zio Romolo’s, Denver, CO
*w/ Lord Nelson and Kendall Street Company
^w/ Soul Mechanic
%w/ The Jauntee
**w/ Groove Fetish