I met Skye Paige a few years back when we were both attending a special in-studio performance by Gov't Mule at Charleston Sound. I still remember that first meeting because of the way she carried herself. She stepped right up and introduced herself, flashing that winning smile.
While I'd been familiar with her music prior to meeting her, I started paying closer attention and noticed a few things about Paige. First and foremost, she's a true professional. She knows how to play, how to network, and she makes it all look fun. Second, though not necessarily as important as that first point, Paige is a sweetheart. I've never not been on the receiving end of that smile when seeing her at a show or out and about in West Ashley. I'm sure she has her bad days, but I have yet to see them. And third, she can play slide guitar like a woman possessed. If you've never seen her live and you're a fan of down and dirty roadhouse blues slide guitar, then you're doing yourself a major disservice.
After a few years of hard work recording and touring with her band, The Original Recipe, Paige took a little break from the grind earlier this year. "I needed a break after gigging hard for about four years," Paige told me. "I've been taking it easy and re-evaluating what I wanted out of my music career after things started getting stale." After one of Home Team BBQ's All Star Blues Jams this past February, Paige fell into a conversation with a friend who asked her why she hadn't been playing lately. When Paige said that she was looking for a new band, the friend put her in touch with bassist David Sanders (aka Dirty Bass) and drummer Skip Sautter (aka Skip Drum).
To say that the three artists gelled is an understatement. "These guys are great," said Paige. "They're professional, musically trained, and they've been working in the business for years. We really get along personally, and that has really opened me up as a player." Paige says that while she would like to add some additional musicians to the group in the future, for now she wants to get the rhythm section as tight as possible, so practicing as a three-piece is the best thing. "We've have learned about 25 Skye Paige original songs and countless covers since April," revealed Paige, "and it seems like we've been playing them forever." Currently the band is preparing songs for a new album, and Paige said she has several ideas for guest artists to play on the recording.
So far, the new Skye Paige Band has played at May's American Biker Spring Fling and at the 13th Annual Heavy Rebel Preparty. Local fans can get a taste of the new setup this Thursday night at the Windjammer. The band plans to shoot some video footage at the popular Isle of Palms music venue, and Paige has also hinted that some special guests might show up.
Next up after the Windjammer show will be a mini tour with rockabilly guitar legend Danny B. Harvey, who has played with the likes of Wanda Jackson, Nancy Sinatra, and Lemmy from Motorhead. That package will perform locally at the Sand Shack in North Charleston on September 6 and at the Tin Roof in West Ashley on September 11. The tour will also be heading through North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
Bands and artists reinvent themselves all the time, and the results can vary. But in the case of the new Skye Paige Band, you kind of get the feeling that things are going to start happening for these musicians.