The Southern Belles are Adrian Ciucci (guitar/vocals), Tommy Booker (keys/vocals), Aaron Zarrow (drums/vocals) and Michael Sallemi (bass/vocals). Playing a high-octane mix of funky southern psychedelic Rock & Roll, the Belles perform hundreds of shows and festivals each year. Their ability to instinctively communicate with one another was apparent right from the start, but as they've continued to play together this cultured ability has grown exponentially. The Southern Belles road-tested sound has earned them a devout following, with fans traveling far and wide to catch the show. With their new album "Close To Sunrise," released in July of 2015, the Southern Belles are picking up steam and gaining national notoriety for their original compositions and song craft. Their songs are both fun and moving, with lyrical stories evoking familiar emotions and complex musical journeys. Wherever the Southern Belles are, they are sure to bring the party with them.
The Southern Belles were formed in November of 2011 in Richmond, VA by Adrian Ciucci and Zach Hudgins. Early on Adrian and Zach added Raphael Katchnioff and Tommy Booker to their already eclectic sound. The Belles started playing monthly residencies in both their hometown of Richmond at Cary St. Cafe and The Camel, and in nearby Charlottesville, at Rapture. Right away it was clear that this band was different, and word began to spread. In 2012, they released their first album, "Sharp As A Knife," and took their show on the road. After several tours up and down the East Coast, the band was gaining national attention, getting picked up for festival both small and large. In early 2014, Zach stepped out as bass player for the Southern Belles, making way for the addition of Andrew Carper. Andrew breathed fresh life into an already dynamic sound, bringing his youthful energy to the group.
In early winter of 2015, the Southern Belles recorded their second album, "Close To Sunrise," at Sound of Music, the same studio they recorded "Sharp As A Knife," and again worked with Bryan Walthall as the producer of the record. Both albums have a similar feel, but it's clear on "Close To Sunrise" that the band is taking strides in their musical composition as well as lyrical content. With critical acclaim for the new record, the band was featured at large festivals in the summer of 2015, including both Lockn' and Floyd Fest.
The story of the Southern Belles continues to evolve. In January of 2016, the band underwent another lineup change, parting ways with Raphael Katchinoff and bringing on Aaron Zarrow on the drums. Aaron, formerly of Philadelphia based jazz-funk outfit The Royal Noise, adds a new degree of precision to the band. The Southern Belles continue to tour nation-wide and have big goals for 2016 and years to come. It's been an incredible adventure so far, and it will be exciting to see what the future holds for The Southern Belles.
Cosmic highways and scenic byways. Peace be the journey.
“Since forming in 2010 the Richmond quartet has quickly gained a reputation for precise, high-energy shows, but what is truly remarkable is how well they can sing. On 2012’s Sharp as a Knife, Adrian Ciucci’s guitar, Tommy Booker’s keyboards, Raphael Katchinoff’s drums, and Andrew Carper’s bass shine more than their collective voices, but four years of hard touring and supportive audiences in their hometown have lifted their vocal dimension to a new level.”
- David Paul Kleinman // Jambands.com
“Richmond, Va.’s the Southern Belles corral elements of jazz, rock, funk and country into an elastic, groove-centric amalgamation of psychedelia and twang...”
- Seven Days // Burlington, VT
“So many wild things have been said to describe The Southern Belles' music and live shows and it's all true.It's like watching a honky-tonk band fight a blues band while George Clinton as the referee. That's the best I can say too. If someone out there can describe the Belles' music in less than words than ‘Oh my god, they melted my face,’ I invite you too. Floor is yours.”
- Doug Nunnally // RVA Magazine
Adrian Ciucci proudly plays Guild guitars.