Ask Andrea where they got their name and she’ll tell you she looked out her apartment window and saw a huge animal in a tree. First she thought “bear”, then realized it was an enormous raccoon. Hence the name “Bearcoon”. Not a bad way to come up with a band name.
Musically this duo is new and exciting. Solange’s vocals are full of emotion, making the listener pay attention from the first note. Surprising everyone with her guitar skills, you can’t take your eye off Andrea.
Being raised in Virginia, Andrea still has remnants of her upbringing in her slight accent. Speaking with her she exudes and excitement about music that is contagious. Obviously playing guitar was in her blood and she plays the guitar with an expertise not often seen I hate to say this, but with a female player. You all know what I mean. It is important to her to make their original songs sound just right and the dedication to her craft is apparent.
After getting a degree in Music Therapy, Andrea worked at a state hospital as an intern. She then continued practicing for a few more years while playing her own music. The desire to make music of her own never decreased.
After moving to the west coast, Long Beach, Ca., and singing in open mics to keep up her skills she met Solange. Solange would play her guitar and sing at these same open mics. They found each other and the chemistry could not be denied.
Solange came from a musical Basque/French family in Bakersfield, California. Music is very important in the Basque community and having been surrounded by it she began singing as a small child. She studied musical theater in collage and that is apparent in her dramatic singing style. Moving from her home in Bakersfield, she set up her new home in Long Beach.
The two have been together for four years. Asked how they write their music and what inspires the songs, Andrea says it is related to how she is feeling. Sad songs come from being sad, and vice versa. That may sound simplistic, but that relates to having beautifully crafted songs that speak to everyone’s emotions.
Watching Bearcoon perform is a pleasure. Individually their voices are unique and very different from each other. Combined in harmony it adds another layer to their already enjoyable music. “Would You Like to Walk With Me” settles in to a comfortable rhythm then changes building the volume and surprising the audience delighting them as well. Solange’s strong vocals and her ability to put her feelings into the lyrics is explosive. Mixed in with their original songs they sang ‘Rhiannon’ from Fleetwood Mac and ‘House of the Rising Sun’ both brilliantly arranged.
These two have been receiving accolades and awards for their song writing and performances. Making the decision to give up day jobs and go on the road is a testament to their commitment to the music. So far they have been traveling for the last eleven months. The fact that they are still together after living in cramped quarters, traveling, performing for all that time says a lot about their relationship. When on stage their casual banter and easy relationship with their audience makes the people watching feel as if they are good friends with these energetic performers.
If you have a chance to see Bearcoon, GO! It is a great show with terrific women.
Their music is available at BEARCOONMUSIC.COM. This tour is supporting their last album “El Guapo”. Andrea and Solange are working on a new album and hope to complete it by the end of the year.