Meet Anna, Billie, and Jodi...
The Gingersnaps is the musical collaboration of three of Central North Carolina’s finest up-and-coming singers, songwriters, and multi-instrumentalists: Billie Feather, Anna Rose Beck, and Jodi Hildebran. Performing a sweet-and-salty mix of old-time folk standards, country classics, smooth Americana favorites, and heart-wrenching original songs, The Gingersnaps’ vocal harmonies and classic instrumentation including upright bass, fiddle, guitar and harmonica, are sure to win your heart at first listen.
Billie Feather (guitar, upright bass, vocals) was raised in North Carolina, where she found herself surrounded by the rich musical landscape that flourishes in the Tarheel State - from the old traditional mountain music of the Appalachians to the Piedmont's rich blues and jazz traditions. For her senior year in high school, she was accepted into the prestigious music conservatory at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Classical Guitar Performance, and remained there for her college studies. Feather has been a guest classical guitarist in The Carolina Wind Symphony, and has been able to perform all over North Carolina as both a solo artist and in classical guitar ensembles. After graduating in 2006, she expanded her musical studies by learning the double bass, electric bass, banjo, and mandolin. Feather has played professionally with several well-known bands in North Carolina. Most notably, she could be found with Bo-Stevens and The Darnell Woodies, with which she toured throughout the US and Europe. She has shared the stage with country legend George Jones, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Dexter Romweber, The Backsliders, and many other noteworthy acts. Feather graduated from North Carolina Central University in 2017 with a second bachelor’s degree in Jazz Guitar. It was at Central that she connected with Anna Rose Beck over their shared (and rare, in the jazz world) love of folk music.
The Austin, Texas born-and-raised Anna Rose Beck (vocals, guitar, fiddle) found that music was her true calling shortly after graduating from Duke University with a degree in biomedical engineering in 2010. Inspired by the lyrical sensibilities of Bob Dylan and the vocal stylings of Eva Cassidy, she began performing in local clubs and music venues shortly after graduation, soon garnering a reputation for her evocative lyrics, hushy middle-soprano intensity, and finger-picked guitar lines. Beck carries the weightiness of her songwriting with a voice that has been described as “both bold and understated, moving and hypnotic, brimming with passion but never overpowering,” inviting comparisons to Dar Williams and Natalie Merchant. She collaborated with Asheville-based producer Andrew Schatzberg to record and release two albums of original songwriting, The Weathermaker (2011) and Glass House (2014). Beck is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Jazz Studies/Vocal Performance at North Carolina Central University.
Jodi Hildebran (vocals, guitar, harmonica) is a singer/songwriter with an affinity for combining indie folk and pop, with a touch of country sass and sometimes, a little bluegrass. She grew up in a small town in the foothills of North Carolina called Hildebran (if you ask her, she will say her family named the town, but there's a good chance she just made that up). She started her music career at the age of 5 years old, singing songs from Disney's "The Little Mermaid" at her mom's hair salon to a captive audience of patrons (captive, of course, because many of them could not escape even if they wanted to). Although she's been singing since she was just a little girl, she did not learn to play an instrument until much later in life. In 2013, her boss, Joe Allman, convinced her that she could learn guitar if she used the same teacher who taught him to play the upright bass. Hildebran eventually decided that her grandfather's vintage Gibson J-45 acoustic was too cool to sit around the house collecting dust, so she had to learn to play. Enter the fabulous Billie Feather, who taught Hildebran to play guitar. Together, the two of them formed The Gingersnaps, and both are members of a larger group called The Unbroken Circle, a bluegrass/old-time string band based in Winston Salem.
Photo Credit: Whitney Hildebran 2017