TRAVERSE CITY — Blake Elliott first heard The Accidentals at an open mic show she and a friend hosted after a Traverse City Film Festival.
“They came down to Cuppa Joe, just 15 and 16,” said Elliott, a singer-songwriter, recalling that night three years ago. “They said, ‘We’re musicians, too. We just played a set down there.’ They proceeded to play and E Minor (a friend and fellow musician) and I looked at each other and said, ‘Who are these guys?’ After, we told them, ‘We love you’ and they said, ‘We love you.’ They were all bashful then.”
Elliott has been one of the duo’s staunchest supporters during their meteoric rise from Traverse City West Senior High and Interlochen Arts Academy to the brink of a promising international career.
Katie Larson’s recent 18th birthday and upcoming Interlochen graduation marks a new beginning in her and musical soulmate Savannah Buist’s journey. Until now the duo had a hard time entering The Basement, Nashville’s legendary concert venue in the cellar of a record store, much less signing a contract agreement. And their school schedules — Larson’s as a singer-songwriter major at Interlochen and Buist’s as an audio technology certificate student at Northwestern Michigan College — limited their ability to tour.
“We’ve been in a holding pattern until Katie turns 18,” said their manager — and Buist’s mother — Amber Buist, before Larson’s March 21 birthday. “If a song went platinum we’d have a really hard time knowing what to do with the income. They have their own publishing company and copyrights but it’s a joke because Katie isn’t 18. Now they can start an LLC.”
The timing couldn’t be better.
The songwriters, vocalists and multi-instrumentalists will launch their first extended East Coast tour, “Girls With Guitars,” this summer. The pair played all 15 or so instruments on a new three-song EP recorded with songwriting and recording engineer legends Marshall Crenshaw and Stewart Lerman. Crenshaw is shopping the EP around and, if all goes well, the duo also could be in a position to sign a record deal.