Stylish Ladies

Once easily pigeonholed as old-timey or twee, the Ditty Bops have thrived this decade without altering their peculiar formula: airy arrangements, timeless acoustic instrumentation, a flapperesque wardrobe, and close harmonies shared by spouses Abby DeWald and Amanda Barrett, who make up the L.A. duo. Every step of their career has been unlikely yet assured, starting with a record deal with Warner that yielded 2004’s self-titled debut and 2006’s Moon over the Freeway. When a Grammy nomination materialized for last year’s self-released Summer Rains, it wasn’t for the music but for the packaging, inspired by pop-up books and heavy on recycled materials. (The gals are proudly green.) Whether on their own or working with a handful of ace collaborators, DeWald and Barrett have shuffled through arcane styles — early jazz, bluegrass, traditional folk — with a twinkle in their eyes and skip in their step. They sang on Bob Dylan’s Christmas album, made a children’s book called Ruffy Loves to Exercise, and are unveiling a new take on their musical Storm Drain To Paradise next year, complete with shadow puppets.
Fri., Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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