Once you've spent enough time in a city's music scene, you realize one very important truth: if the band is good enough to get middle-aged non-drinking folks to 6th Street; to get grizzled, bearded old men out of their armchairs and out to the show, the band has got some substance. A number of long white beards and water-sippers could be found at the Eisley show.
It's been over a decade, but the members of Eisley, all of whom are related, have come of age - in some cases literally. Over that time, since their teen (or pre-teen) days, Eisley has played a weird and cavernous and plaintive melange. Since the early 2000s this band of homeschooled Christian kids from Tyler have been touring with their own particular brand of dreamy and wistful yet solidly grounded flavor of indie rock. On the 24th they played one of the last shows in their current “Over the River and Through the Woods” tour at The Parish on Sixth Street.
More than anything, Eisley is carried by the complex harmonies of frontwomen (and sisters) Stacey DuPree and Sherri Dupree-Bemis. Onstage at the Parish, each song found Stacy perched on her keyboard, flanked by her sisters and falling into another interesting rabbit hole. They play the kind of songs that are also stories - songs that make you imagine forests and mountaintops and maybe think about the wind. These harmonies were the crux of the show; whether it's because they're sisters or not, the two sound eerily similar. It's rare for a band to have two strong female voices at the helm, and with lead guitarist Chauntelle Eisley put all three ladies up front. The guys (cousin Garron DuPree, rocking the orange suspenders, and brother Weston DuPree) backed them with bass and drums. The layers of their live show echoed their discography, building and working each song through and through, exploring the different sides and facets of each - they've recorded a number of different versions of some of their songs, and the night’s performance provided yet another variation.
Near the end of the show, Stacey and Sherri jokingly discussed the possibility of buying a farm if their next release didn't go over well, bantering that it might be like a cult for the family and inviting fans along. Eisley has had a slow and solid growth; they may have never exploded in popularity and platinum albums, but the venue was packed and the fans were passionate. As long as Eisley enjoys being a band - a family band - there's no reason to buy that farm yet.