Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny
The childlike lo-fi pop sextet Sissy Bar formed in 1994 when the core duo of singer Joy Ray and guitarist Courtney Holt -- the son of Will Holt, the author of the Peter, Paul and Mary hit "Lemon Tree" -- delivered an impromptu performance at a friend's party in Los Angeles. After enlisting banjo player Brad Kluck, bassist Anne Kadrovich, keyboardist Mary Ellen Mason, and drummer Patrick Simpson, the group began honing a sound built around Holt's mandate that the members play whatever they feel like, resulting in an off-kilter fusion of country, new wave, and waltz music. In 1996, Sissy Bar issued their debut LP, Statutory Grape, a record highlighted by the band's odd cover of Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Gin and Juice," later sampled by members of the Dogg Pound posse. Songs for Peeps followed in 1999.