ABOUT " The Gals "
THE GOOD TIME GALS
Inspired by Classic Country, Vintage Jazz, Jump Blues, and Americana, “The Good Time Gals” are an all-gal band, featuring fresh, fun, originals and uniquely arranged covers that are sure to keep toes tapping and hearts humming along well after the show is over.
This act is chock-full of heart, drive, and originality. Though difficult to categorize into a singular genre, all can agree this is where good music and good times meet.
Established New Year's Day 2020
Co-founded/created by Debbie Briggs & 'Miss Myra' Burnette. "The Good Time Gals" early days consisted mostly of highly arranged jazz standards and innovative vocal duets.
But, what began as a budding musical friendship founded on a mutual love for traditional Jazz of the 20s, 30s, and 40s, and a deep appreciation for Vintage Blues, Americana, Classic Country and Western Swing, quickly evolved into the unique sound you know and love today. In 2021, Briggs and Burnette began collaborating on their originals and took the band to another level. The Gals creative approach to music and their commitment to not limit themselves has resulted in a sought after sound of their own making. Pulling writing influences from their favorite genres that first connected them whilst weaving in parts of their unique personalities and musical sensibilities, "The Good Time Gals" have truly created a dynamic, fun, and soulful band. And, the band would not be complete without the incredibly gifted musicians that now make up the full band sound heard on the "Whiskey Kisses" album.
With the dawn of their new album (released in August '22), the band sound has expanded to welcome the brilliant talents of Beth Varela (percussion/cello), Alissa Jacobsen (fiddle), and Liz Draper (upright bass). All pictured in this postcard together.
Please read more about our current band below...
THE EARLY DAYS
"MISS MYRA" BURNETTE
Guitar & Vocals
Miss Myra" Bemidji, MN native, is a professional guitarist and a gifted singer, and arranger. Myra now spends half the year in MN and the other half in that colorful, sunny, land of dreams, New Orleans.
Largely self-taught and influenced by early jazz and blues guitarists such as Eddie Lang and Lonnie Johnson, Myra also finds a range of inspiration from the likes of Django Reinhardt to Carl Kress to George Barnes and country jazz guitar. Her skillful playing and deep commitment to her craft has earned her top billing and countless write-ups across the Midwest. And, with her other band "Miss Myra & The Moonshiners" she has circled the globe on more than one occasion.
Myra is incredibly hard working and is known to burn the candle at both ends, often times practicing guitar and transcribing instrumentals from vintage recordings until the wee hours. Her dedication to the craft is unparalleled. In addition to her vast multi instrumentalist musical talent, she is a gifted academic, hobby musical historian, linguistics enthusiast, and is known for lighting up the dance floor with traditional American jazz dances such as Lindy hop, Charleston and Blues.
Debbie Briggs hails from St. Paul, MN and has lived in NYC, L.A., Denali (Alaska), Philly, and more! She began studying voice at 13, and attended UW-Stevens Point (B.F.A. Musical Theatre). She got her start as a stage actress and performed all around the Nation. After years working in various forms and facets of the industry, she took a break; only to return to MN in 2018 at which point she made her return to music.
She formed her first band, Debbie Briggs Vintage Jazz in 2019. Shortly thereafter, Debbie began her venture into songwriting. By 2021 she was actively writing many of the pieces heard on debut album, "Whiskey Kisses". In addition to being a proud co-bandleader of "The Good Time Gals", Debbie still performs in Debbie Briggs Vintage Jazz, and was recently seen in Jazz Fest and Jazz Fest Live from kj's. Additionally, Debbie performs in a third project, a M/F duo featuring vocals, guitar and ukulele called "Whiskey Serenade".
Debbie's charming presence and rich and powerful voice has garnered the attention of local music lovers far and wide and has earned her a reputation as a rising star in the local music scene.
When Debbie is not performing or writing music she emcees an open mic at kj's hideaway every Wednesday, she is also a gifted visual artist and dog trainer. She enjoys spending time in nature, and making merry with those nearest and dearest to her.
Beth Varela is a Minneapolis-based drummer and cellist. She has toured the U.S. and Europe with Miss Myra & The Moonshiners. She also plays regularly in the upper Midwest with a multitude of local artists. Her playing spans many styles, but most often, she can be heard playing New Orleans style Jazz, Funk, and Brazilian/World music. Beth studied music at Berklee College of Music.
With The Good Time Gals, she plays baselines on a cello and drum grooves with her feet on a cajon. She calls this instrument combo the "cellobass" Her innovative, playful, and driving musical presence is the heartbeat of The Good Time Gals.
Sometimes described as the "fiery one", Beth's high energy, super fun, and creative approach to music makes her a joy to watch. Outside of drumming, Beth is an accomplished athlete. She competes in triathlons, enjoys open water swimming, she's an enthusiastic frisbee golf player, a cheeky hobby magician, a damn good friend, a "softy" and also is the Mom to two fantastic kids!
Alissa is a professionally trained violinist from Stillwater and currently resides in Cannon Falls, MN. Organic vegetable Farmer by day and Fiddle player by night, this gal knows how to work hard and play hard.
In addition to bringing her sweet fiddle sounds to The Good Time Gals, Alissa, affectionately also known by some as "Big Al", is also an active member of Mississippi Hot Club and moonlights with many accomplished music groups across the Metro playing in a wide range of styles. She is often found recording fiddle tracks for local artists working with the top recording studios and artists in town.
Alissa is inspired by the versatility of her instrument and has wonderful command over her craft moving with grace and precision from classical, old time, bluegrass, country classics, swing, oldies, pop, experimental violin and of course, hot club jazz!
She also farms beautiful heirloom dried beans. When Alissa is not farming or fiddling, she can be found relaxing with a good book, canning her vegetables, hosting hootanannys, or spending time with her wonderful partner Lee and new puppy. Let's face it, between her diverse farming skills, musicality, and handy, helpful nature, Alissa is the one we all want our team for when the Zombie Apocalypse hits;)
"This Twin Cities quintet sparkled on their spirited mix of le hot jazz, classic country, vaudevillian blues and smart vintage-styled originals from their LP "Whiskey Kisses." Shout out to lead singer Debbie Briggs and accomplished guitarist-singer Miss Myra."
MN Star Tribune Concert Review