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For week ended September 05, 1999 Posted 19 Sep 1999

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This Trio Isn't From Dixie

Summarized by Eric Bunker

This Trio Isn't From Dixie
Los Angeles Times 4Sep99 L5
By Michael Mccall

A country pop cross-over singing trio consisting of Sisters Kristyn, Kelsi, and Kassidy Osborn, originally from Magna, Utah, (ages 24 - 22), have recently signed a recording contract with Randy Goodman, president of Lyric Street Records, a Nashville based Disney owned country music recording company.

Under the new name of Shedaisy, these three women are the hottest act to come out of Nashville since the stellar breakthrough of another female trio, the "Dixie Chicks." It's is easy to think of Shedaisy (a name drawn from an American Indian word for "my sisters") as a "Dixie Chicks" clone, even though their styles are quite different.

On the success of only one Top 5 single, "Little Goodbyes," Shedaisy is fast approaching the 200,000 mark in sales for its debut album titled "The Whole Shebang," which came out in May.

However, for the three sisters, it's been an arduous 10-year trek. "When people find out we've been here for 10 years, their jaws drop," says oldest sister Kristyn, who co-wrote the 11 songs on the trio's album with a variety of collaborators, including Richard Marx. They think that they must have started out as babies.

Despite the ordinary, but intense pressures that accompany this level of sudden pop-culture success, the sisters remain lighthearted and bright-eyed, even though they've been traveling constantly, crisscrossing the U.S. since late June.

"We know how rare a chance like this is, and we're really ready to work hard," Kristyn says. "That's one thing we're really happy about--we know what this means. We're not going to take anything for granted."

As active church members, Kristyn, Kelsi, and Kassidy grew up in Magna, Utah, as three of six children of David and Robyn Osborn. "We think living there, and the whole way we were raised, really helps us now," Kristyn says. "We grew up with a lot of values, and that's a really important influence on how we are."

At age 11 Kelsi played the lead in the musical "Annie" at Utah's Sundance Summer Theatre. Afterward, she and Kassidy formed a duo that performed at state fairs and retirement centers. Kristyn eventually joined them.

Encouraged by the audience response at a Utah Jazz basketball game when the sisters sang "The Star-Spangled Banner", the girls' father put together a portfolio and blanketed Nashville with the tapes. After getting a nibble, David Osborn packed up the three girls and moved there.

In a few months, The Osborn Sisters, as they were known then, ended up signing and signing with RCA. Although they recorded several songs, RCA dropped them after two years without releasing a single or album.

"Looking back on it now, we're glad it didn't come out," Kassidy says. "It happened really quick, and the recordings we did really didn't represent what we wanted to be like." Now, they say, they're stylistically exactly what they want to be as a group.

Though some critics compare Shedaisy to the "Dixie Chicks," claiming that they are just a cheep Disney knock-off to capitalize on that group's successes. However, the trio points out the differences.

Shedaisy has a distinctly different rhythm-based, harmony-driven, pop-heavy sound that is doesn't emphasize fiddles, banjos, mandolins and steel guitars. Instead, it has more in common with such pop-directed country singers as Martina McBride and Faith Hill. But the intricately woven harmonies and vibrant youthfulness separate their material from others, as does Kristyn's cheeky, playful songwriting.

Besides frequent appearances on the Disney Channel, the trio also has been selected to provide the closing song for the soundtrack of an upcoming Christmas video featuring all of the Disney cartoon characters. Shedaisy is also scheduled to appear on an ABC-TV Christmas special with pop acts 'N Sync and 98 Degrees. Ultimately, Shedaisy presents a fresh Middle American, somewhat sanitized and personality-filled alternative to the teen-driven vocal groups currently dominating the pop charts.

"They have a particular charm and honesty about them that's irresistible," says Bob Cavallo, chairman of the Buena Vista Music Group and president of Hollywood Records. "They're a little pop-leaning, and because of that it opens up a lot of synergistic opportunities for them. Everybody in all the branches of our company is captivated by them and wants to work in their stuff."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information