Welcome

Hello and welcome to our website! Thanks for visiting. We are a duo based in Lincoln, and sing Americana, folk-country songs in close harmony. You can book us for events, pub gigs, weddings and private parties. We are also available for vocal harmony workshops. Just get in contact for further information and prices and read our bio to find out more about where we've performed previously. 

Mar24

The Rye Sisters

Faldingworth Live, LN8 3SE

We will be supporting the wonderful Sara Grey & Keiran Means at Faldingworth. Should be a great night of toe-tapping and haunting American songs and tunes. Check out Sara and Kieron's website: http://www.saragrey.net/ and have a listen. Fab rhythms and exquisite harmonies! Faldingworth website: www.faldingworthlive.org. Tickets for the event are available here.

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Happy New Year from The Rye Sisters 

Hello everyone!

Looking forward to some more playing out this year.  The first one's at the Struggler's Inn on Westgate, Lincoln on 12th February.  The fab landlady here creates a cosy atmosphere for tea time on a Sunday.  Please come along and enjoy the jolly good beer and our tunes!

So proud to win 'Song for Lincolnshire 2016'! 

Well...what can I say? What an honour to win 'Song for Lincolnshire 2016' - and what a heart-warming, moving evening, filled with talented people playing original songs.  We're quite exhausted from the excitement today, actually.  Thank you to all the BBC Radio Lincolnshire team and especially Jono Brine and Tom Lane, who do such a great job of inspiring and promoting music in Lincolnshire.  It is a beautiful county with beautiful people - and what a great audience.  We don't think we'll get a better one to be honest: all those people really LISTENING! It was quite disconcerting in a way.  And totally terrifying.  But somehow we got through the song.  Thanks to the marvellous judges (for their beautiful music and inspiration - and not just for granting us a result we obviously really appreciate) and to everyone who took part and turned up to listen.  A fantastic evening! Here's the edited BBC clip.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04fy203
 

Song for Lincolnshire (Thursday 10th November) 

We're very excited to announce that we got through to the finals of 'Song for Lincolnshire' with our song 'White Mercury'!

The finals night is on Thursday 10th November and there may be more tickets available if you want to come and watch - contact BBC Radio Lincolnshire.  Otherwise I believe it will be broadcast on the night....tune in everyone!

Also we have two gigs coming up - one this Saturday night, 5th November (at the Strugglers' Inn) and then at Cafe Portico on Saturday 19th November - tickets just £6 from the cafe or contact the cafe on 07956 653156.

Stay warm and happy everyone - listen to live music :)
 

Song-writing: WHITE MERCURY   Podcast

As we 'Rye Sisters' played our  gig in the wonderful Strugglers' Inn last Saturday night, I couldn't help thinking: did the people I'd just written a song about enjoy their last pint within these very walls? 

It was after a visit to the marvellous Lincoln Castle that I found inspiration for our song 'White Mercury'. 

'White Mercury' was what some called arsenic - and it seemed rife in the 1800s if you read the local history books.  A poor, unfortunate woman named Priscila Biggadyke probably did not poison and murder her husband.  Nevertheless, she did hang for the crime on circumstantial evidence.  Apparently, she lived with her children and three men, one of whom was her quarrelsome husband.  The others were Tom Proctor, a local rat-catcher for the area, and George Ironmonger, for whom Priscila allegedly held a candle. Locals at the time said that it was no secret that Priscila and her husband fought like cat and dog.  Descriptions of their living conditions suggested something of a hovel with two beds.  The mind boggles. 

When her husband was poisoned with 'white mercury', he managed to point the finger squarely at his unhappy wife in the ten or so hours it took him to die his gruesome death.  Upon her arrest, Priscila blamed Tom Proctor, the rat-catcher. In a way, this would figure: he used arsenic to poison rats.  But Priscilla had also had her hands on it, and had offered it in substantial quantities to neighbours who had rat problems.  The constables quickly dismissed Tom Proctor: I suppose it was much more likely that she'd committed the crime - and he had no apparent motive.  It appears that poor Priscila then sleep-walked through the whole debacle or managed it clumsily.  She said that her husband had probably committed suicide, then.  There was a note, she said.  Her husband couldn't read or write, the law said.  He got someone to write it for him then, she said.  Likely story, the law said.  Where's the note? 

... I burnt it, she said.  So she hanged. It did sound dodgy. 

But on his death bed, Tom Proctor admitted that he'd poisoned Priscila Biggadyke's husband. 

What was his motive? Why would he take a risk that could see him with his neck in the noose? Did Priscila encourage him? And that's where our song comes in.  Perhaps his feelings for Priscilla were complex: living in close proximity - two beds and three men... could he have thought he might profit with Mr Biggadyke out of the way? Did he love Priscila, or lust after her? When she gave his name immediately on her arrest, would he have felt betrayed? Were promises made and then broken? And how might he have felt, watching her hang for a crime he had committed? 

Priscila Biggdyke was hanged on 28th December 1868 outside Lincoln Castle's court.  By then, the hanging process had been ritualised and taken out of the rabid gaze of the spectator.  A black flag was raised at the point of the hanging and bells were rung fifteen minutes before and after the dark deed was done. Her grave stone, which just says 'P.B', can be found in Lucy Tower on the Wall Walk in Lincoln Castle. 

Sue Pomeroy

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  1. White Mercury

September 2nd 2016 

Hey folks. The Rye Sisters here! We're excited to have a website up and running and looking forward to sharing our music with you. Over the summer we've been adding to our repertoire, practicing material and collaborating on our first joint song writing venture. Hopefully, we'll perfect our first Rye Sisters song, 'One To Stay', soon and get a recorded version uploaded here. We are also rehearsing and working on an inspired and haunting composition by Sue Pomeroy for the 'Song for Lincolnshire' competition. Watch this space for up and coming events and projects!