Mt. Shasta's No Boys Aloud
By Paul Boerger
Story and photo by Paul Boerger
“All-girl” singing groups have often been the rage in the pop music scene, from the Andrew Sisters in the 1930s and ‘40s to the contemporary Spice Girls and Dixie Chicks. Now from Mount Shasta comes No Boys Aloud, an all-women group of musicians and singers that play an incredible variety of instruments and sing with a fervor, covers and originals that range from rock to blues to funk to bluegrass.
The core members are Cindy Summers on percussion, Kate Bachman on drums and mandolin, Dana Knight on bass and vocals, Janet Ackerman Beck on ukulele, kazoo, percussion and vocals, Julie May on fiddle, banjo, guitar and vocals, and Paula Reynolds on guitar, flute and vocals. Others are occasionally invited to join in.
Reynolds has been around the Mount Shasta music scene for many years, and if there is a nominal leader of the band, it is Reynolds.
“No Boys Aloud came out of a project called Chic Music that played at the Art on the Block events in Mount Shasta,” Reynolds says. “I was always doing projects that included women.”
The members of No Boys Aloud, ranging in age from 40 to 50, came aboard one by one for a variety of reasons, merging together as a band about two years ago. Each has her reasons for wanting to be a part of No Boys Aloud.
“When Paula invited me to be a part of the group, I was ecstatic,” Ackerman Beck says. “I’m having the time of my life.”
“I’m grateful to be a part of an incredible group of women. The synergy of the group is amazing,” Summers says. “It’s joyful to share our music with people.”
Knight says she was Reynolds’ neighbor, and when invited to join the band she said, “Heck yeah! This is a very special group of women.”
Bachman was playing drums with a band when Reynolds heard her playing at the top of the Douglas lift at the Mount Shasta Ski Park and asked her to join.
“I love the different kind of energy that comes from playing with women,” Bachman says.
May has the most unusual story. High above Mount Shasta sits pristine Castle Lake, where a large float in the middle of the lake supports a decades-long scientific research project.
“I met Paula at a jam on the float out in the lake,” May says. “ I hadn’t played music in a long time and the band brought me back.”
So, what’s with the name No Boys Aloud?
“It started as a joke,” Reynolds said. “We took an internet poll to see if people liked the name, and they did. We are a band of women playing aloud with everything we have.”
Ackerman Beck adds, “It’s about female energy. We love men. We want them in the audience being loud.”
May says one of most important aspects of the group is how they work together.
“It’s a sharing atmosphere,” May says. “When you play with men it’s different. With No Boys Aloud, it’s feels more collaborative.”
No Boys Aloud plays at local clubs and festivals, and donates time to charitable events. A recent huge feather in the band’s cap was being invited to be one of the opening bands at the September Merle Haggard concert for charity at the Siskiyou Golden Fair grounds in Yreka. Alas, several opening bands were rained out, including No Boys Aloud. Still, it was an honor and a testament to the band’s musical skills and popularity.
They don’t have a CD yet, but with the talent and energy No Boys Aloud brings to the music scene, this band is definitely going to heard from loud and clear. •
No Boys Aloud • www.facebook.com/noboyzaloud