Non-Sisters Doing It Right

Betcha Bottom Dollar (Verve)
The Puppini Sisters

By Cricket Bidwell

UK trio The Puppini Sisters aren't actually sisters at all - but non-sisters Marcella Puppini, Stephanie O'Brien and Kate Mullins are doing their best to bring back 1940s glamour and sound with their debut album Betcha Bottom Dollar.

The girls do respectable covers of classic tunes like "Mr. Sandman," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Sisters," but they really shine when performing covers of more recent pop hits, such as Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights," Blondie's "Heart of Glass" and the oft-covered "I Will Survive." The band has fun with the arrangements, without taking the songs too far away from the originals. No surprise, as the trio cites such wide-ranging influences as Carole King, Burlesque, Marilyn Manson and of course, the Andrews Sisters.

The girls got together in London in 2004 after Marcella saw the animated "Belleville Rendezvous" and had the idea to form a group that worked in the classic harmonies of the 1930s and '40s. They've been rising ever since, with gigs in clubs as well as summer festivals throughout the British Isles, including performances for Prince Charles, Camilla and Prince William.

The group seems to have fun with the kitsch, as well. Visit the official web site (thepuppinisisters.com) for a few video clips and items such as an "agony aunt" column by Mullins, make-up tips by O'Brien and a cooking column by Puppini.