Female refreshment (video 2:30)

Female refreshment (video 2:30)
Female refreshment (video 2:30)
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Girl bands (women bands?) are a bit of an anomaly in rock music. Nationally, the Bangles and the Go-Go’s are the most successful, but RVA has its share: the now-defunct Frankly Scarlet, as well as current bands the Voodoo Dolls and Tonic Jane. The general question has always been, “is the all-girl lineup a gimmick or not”?


Tara and Leigh

Tara and Leigh

“We’re a band that happens to be all girls…we just play. There’s no gimmick there.” That’s guitarist Jill Springer, who added the band has guys come up and say they play “dude songs really good.” They bill themselves as covering classic rock, including everything from oldies to disco to funk and some alternative.


They’ve been around since 2010. Lead singer/guitarist Tara Lane and drummer Holly Odum are veterans of other bands. One of Tara’s groups opened for Joan Jett (a band role model) at The Boulders. Jill and Leigh Strawderman (bass) have each been playing about 7 years. The name Tonic Jane comes from an intended reference to the “girl” nature of the band (Jane) and a nod to their party attitude (Tonic), as in a mixer and a cure for what ails you. Leigh believes one of their strengths is the diversity of songs each member brings to the mix.





The band doesn’t play a lot wanting to keep it fresh and avoid having it become “a grind.” They typically play the Rumbleseat (where I caught them), Babe’s, Brookside and the County Seat, as well as private gigs. Their next show is 8/21 at the Rose Marie Inn, a new venue.


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This week: Flashlight Tag is having a CD release show at Ashland Coffee and Tea Thursday night. The CD is like a US history lesson, so it should be an interesting evening. The MoRevival (Julius Pittman band plus most of MoDbree) play Enzo’s Saturday. It will be a dance party for sure.

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