Standing Room Only
Alan Atkinson gently lifted the Gretsch from his knee and stood up. As he rose, he reached down and took one last gulp from his now lukewarm tea. He could hear the others in the next room rehearsing, and his mind flashed back to Abbey Road. It now didn't seem so long ago that he was recording there, watching John Lennon come into the studio and give them the 'thumbs up' on the songs they were recording. His band then was called The Sect, and they were laying down demos for producer/lyricist Tim Rice. Abruptly, the voices in the next room snapped him back to the present. This wasn't 1966, and the only 'beetles' around wouldn't be a particular thrill to find in the studio. But he did have some music to think about. Atkinson walked into the next room where his daughter Victoria, Leah Fearnside, and Mark Braun, were working on a new harmony. It sounded 'spot on'. They were the focus of the band, the trio. 'Damn, they sound good together,' he commented to fellow guitarist Steve Brand, who was polishing a new lick he particularly liked. Brand looked up and gave a knowing smile. They had the songs, the voices, the energy, and the determination to make some great music. It was time to begin recording. It was country music, sure enough...but it had something else going for it, a secondary sound that everyone listening to the demos couldn't quite put a finger on. Some said there was a Sixties feel to many of the tracks. Others would say that it was more of a Seventies sound.... maybe Fleetwood Mac, while '...a modern edge,' was said just as often. It didn't matter really, the music was unique, and certainly had a wide appeal. 'Well, let's do it!' Atkinson continued, as he headed into the studio followed anxiously by the rest of the band. And so, Sienna went on to record their debut album, Standing Room Only... Immediately after recording, Sienna performed songs from Standing Room Only at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival, one of Canada's premier country music events, on the main stage, alongside such top performers as LeAnn Rimes, The Wilkinsons, and Lonestar. 'A job well done....you'll travel far.' Former BCCMA president, Gord Reynen Several songs from their sampler CD were already in heavy rotation around the globe before the final touches were put on the final release. Stations across Europe, Australia, and The U.S. began playing songs like 'Dance With You', 'Crime Against My Heart', and 'All Over Again', helping to put Sienna high up on the Worldwide Mainstream Most Played Artist Chart. As of this writing, Sienna is #270 and climbing, putting them in the top 10% of artists being tracked. '(The) best I've heard out of Canada in a long time.' Shane Wilder, Program Director T.A.B.C. syndicate. A new band, featuring former Sweeney Todd drummer George Miller, bassist Lyall Lowe, and guitarist Greg Hamson, are hitting the road to support the album, and will be featured on the BBC in October of this year. Lastly, let's not forget who makes Sienna truly special, the trio of Victoria, Leah, and Mark, who not only provide Sienna's captivating harmonies, but write many of the lyrics as well. The three, all in their 20's, bring an energy and youthful style not only to the music, but the live performances as well. And it truly is a family affair as Atkinson's wife, Mary, co-wrote several of the tracks as well. So, as Sienna say in their opening track, 'Dance With You'... 'Let's get movin'!' Welcome to Standing Room Only.