The Maybe Sometimes band started out as college roommates and evolved into powerful female folk duo.
Members of The Maybe Sometimes started out as college roommates and evolved into a powerful female folk duo.
Sage Meadows was studying music at Southern Oregon University when she met her roommate Bekkah McAlvage in 1998. Meadows was in a country band and McAlvage was an art major — not yet a musician but heavily into poetry.
The women would perform at the open mic at The Siskiyou hosted by Craig Wright, with Meadows singing original songs and McAlvage reading her poetry aloud. As roommates and close friends, the women soon began to rub off on each other and eventually started to express their art collectively.
"She started writing music to her poetry and we started playing together," Meadows said.
"I was a big fan of her country band, so when I started learning how to play, I learned some of the songs that they played," McAlvage said. "We would get up in the morning and hang out in the kitchen and drink coffee, she would be like, 'Hey, want to learn this song?' "
The women have similar tastes in music, being influenced by early Lucinda Williams, Hazel Dickens, Hank Williams and Willie Nelson.
"We both really like to learn songs," Meadows said. "I'm OK with being labeled a folky."
Although The Maybe Sometimes band could be categorized as Americana, there are strong hints of country, folk and bluegrass roots in the women's songs.
"I like the history of the songs and how they change over time as they pass through different hands and are interpreted," McAlvage said.
Since Meadows taught McAlvage how to play guitar eight years ago, the two have been performing and recording together. The women are now married with children roughly the same age.
"We played a lot before we had babies, but we're pretty picky about our gigs," Meadows said. "We play every first Sunday at Downtowne Coffee in Talent."
The Maybe Sometimes will play its regular gig from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Sept. 4, at Downtowne Coffee House, 200 Talent Ave., Talent.
"We've made it a priority to play music, even though it's hard with the kids," said McAlvage, the mother of 1-year-old twins.
"We get to hang out in a coffee shop and play music with the sun on our face," Meadows said.
For the Tidings Café, The Maybe Sometimes performed an original song composed by Meadows called "Sarah" at a friend's house on top of Wimer Street. The women's strikingly beautiful harmonies combined with their guitars make for a soothing, heartfelt sound.
"I think today we can be so politically correct, but with folk music it dances around subjects like death, outlaws, criminals and ghosts," McAlvage said.
The two friends talk on the phone almost every day and meet often to practice songs while their children play together.
"A lot of the time the babies are there, so it's children's music," Meadows said.
"We play a lot of music for our kids, for sure," McAlvage said.
The women have talked about recording a children's album, or perhaps even putting on a children's concert.
"We are really open to playing more gigs," McAlvage said.
In the next year the women hope to play at more family-friendly folk festivals so they can combine a family vacation with performing.
"Now the kids are all over a year so we can play more," Meadows said.
Mandy Valencia is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. Reach her at 541-776-4486 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.