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The sisters grew up in Wellfleet with music drifting in and out of the rooms in the house. Their parents are both accomplished musicians: their mother, Cheryl, is a singer-songwriter; father Daniel is more into avant-garde jazz fusion. Daniel’s band Andromeda once cut an album for Capital Records in New York.

Sarah describes growing up in a house with “a basement full of instruments, there were pianos, banjos, you name it.” They all play music and sing. Between them, they hold seven musical degrees.

A few years back, Rose and Sarah, seeking an outlet for their growing musical affinity, decided to drive up to Provincetown and wing it. They popped open their instrument cases to catch loose change and played on the streets, in the seaside festival of bohemia that is a Provincetown summer night. Rose admits they made “like 10 dollars or something,” but there was a thrill to performing, to connecting. They went home with excited stories. They returned with more sisters and the act began to take shape.

The Parkington Sisters played their first real show at the Wellfleet Public Library in 2005—just string instruments and celestial harmonies. Dad did the sound. The reaction was great. “That feeling of community involvement made us want to keep going,” says Nora.

By the second show, they had written an original song. They continued to hone their sound and esthetic, sometimes taking the stage barefoot in formal gowns. During a summer 2010 show at Wellfleet’s First Congressional Church, Ken Casey, co-founder and singer of the Dropkick Murphys, caught their act. Impressed, he offered an opening slot on some upcoming shows.

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Rob Conery is a freelance writer and a frequent contributor to Cape Cod Life Publications.

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