The Roches are Maggie and Terre and Suzzy, sisters self-introduced cheekily in We [LISTEN to a live version], the first song of their eponymous first album (1979). “We don’t give out our ages and we don’t give out our phone numbers… sometimes our voices give out, but not our ages and our phone numbers.”
As the song progresses: “Guess which two of us made a record” – that would be Maggie and Terre, Seductive Reasoning (1975), after they sang backup on the Paul Simon song Was A Sunny Day [LISTEN]. “Guess what the other one did instead” – Suzzy went to college in upstate New York. “And now a trio we are, born on the fourth of December.” LISTEN to Hammond Song and Mister Sellack.
The third album, Keep On Doing, my favorite, starts with one of their few songs not written by the sisters; LISTEN to The Hallelujah Chorus, then to their Losing True. Then READ why the final song Keep On Doing What You Do/Jerks On The Loose has become my more-than-occasional mantra.
The sisters have done several more albums, four of which I own, including some solo work, and some as duets. Wanted to note this interlocking family connection:
Lucy Wainwright Roche is the daughter of singer-songwriters Loudon Wainwright III… and Suzzy Roche, who, along with her sisters (Lucy’s aunts) Maggie and Terre Roche, make up the female vocal group The Roches… Lucy is also the half-sister of singer-songwriters Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright (whose late mother Kate was half of the Canadian folk duo Kate and Anna McGarrigle). She has toured with Rufus throughout the years. Through her father, she is a niece of Sloan Wainwright.
I saw the Roches many years ago in the Albany area – couldn’t tell you where or when (probably in the 1980s) – but they were great. More music if you have QuickTime HERE.