Dust Bowl Faeries is an ethereal electro-acoustic quartet led by inter-disciplinary artist, musician and performer Ryder Cooley. Accordion, lap steel guitar, singing saw, ukulele, keyboards and three part vocal harmonies combine to create their unique, other-worldly sound. Sara Ayers and Karen Cole are the other musical faeries in this all-lady band. Hazel, a taxidermy sheep, joins the Dust Bowl Fairies as mascot spirit animal and occasional go-go dancer.
C. Ryder Cooley is an inter-disciplinary artist, musician and performer. Hazelis a disembodied taxidermy ram. Ryder found Hazel at a Salvage Company in in Albany NY, and from that moment on they have been collaborating and performing together in various capacities. Hazel played the role of the extinct Pyrenean Ibex in Ryder's multi-media cabaret, XMALIA, which was performed at venues including Proctors Mainstage and is now an illustrated book and album. In the summer of 2013, Ryder and Hazel began playing with Sara Ayers and Karen Cole, and formed the band Dust Bowl Faeries.
As hybrid performers, Ryder & Hazel create music and movement-based works as well as aerial acrobatics and site responsive/durational performances. Their work has been presented nationally, from San Francisco to New York City. Through this unique collaboration, Hazel is resurrected, re-embodied and re-gendered by Ryder, who is the body and voice for the two of them. The spirit of Hazel is channeled through their performance work, and Hazel's ghostly presence resonates through the haunting sounds of the singing saw. Hazel was not purchased, killed or decapitated for this project. Ryder & Hazel do not support cruelty to animals.
Sara Ayers is a musician and sound-based artist who has performed in numerous bands in the NY Capital District including The Dialtones, AKA/etc and New Shiny Things. More recently, she released a series of vocally-based ambient recordings. She is currently co-editor of Nippertown, a hyper-local arts and entertainment website
Karen Cole began playing music on the cello, and most recently took up the lap steel guitar. She has been collecting and creating re-purposed hats and vintage garments for years, which are now a part of the Dust Bowl Faeries fabulous wardrobe.