The locals call someone who moves to Cape Cod but was not born there a Washahore. In Texas, a young girl barrel-raced on Pleasant Valley Ranch and had never seen the ocean. So when Monica Rizzio crossed over the iconic bridges of Cape Cod in 2004, she instantly became the Washashore Cowgirl.
The former Tripping Lily front woman has left behind the acoustic, condenser mic style and has brought her East Texas roots up North for her debut album, fittingly named, “Washashore Cowgirl." After leaving the band in 2013, she purchased a 1956 Martin O-18, named it Bo, and plugged in. For the next few years she started playing with a bunch of salty, accomplished Cape Cod musicians who helped bring back the cowgirl attitude and inspired her to write about her sometimes humorous, sometimes tear-jerking journey from Texas, love, and heartache.
Much of the album is like a stiff cocktail, deeply auto-biographical and mixed with a hint of fiction. Rizzio wanted to write a song about one of her musical idols and penned “Willie Nelson” while being snowed in during a Nor’Easter. After channeling her inner-willie for a couple of days, she found herself in a love affair with an older man, in a tale of two cities, with forgotten yesterdays. This ode to Willie Nelson won finalist in the 31st annual Songwriters of Washington (SAW) competition and will be the first single released in early 2016.
Quotes & Reviews
“Monica paints a picture and tells a story with her music. And not only is she a great musician, but it’s her voice that really draws you in and keeps you there. I look forward to hearing more music from her...”
-- RAUL MALO (THE MAVERICKS)
"Monica Rizzio's songs feel both rustic and refined, and she delivers them in a compelling voice that's equal parts tenderness and sass. She reminds me of a slightly duskier Nanci Griffith."
- MARK ERELLI
"I made the tactical error of inviting Monica Rizzio to share the stage with me at Symphony Hall and she went and stole the audience right out from under me!"
"She has reinvented the landscape with her unique voice and technicolor sound, redefining what has gone before. I am so glad she has washed ashore!
BILL COPELAND MUSIC NEWS - Monica Rizzio shines with righteous zeal on Washashore Cowgirl CD
"Monica Rizzio’s first official solo CD Washashore Cowgirl is chockfull of great original country and country roots songs. Originally from Texas, this Cape Cod resident shows she can project plenty of her southern girl charm and sensibility into her original songs and standards. It’s who she is....."
RED LINE ROOTS - Roll With The Tide: Monica Rizzio Releases Washashore Cowgirl
"I don’t often like to look at an artist and think of their pedigree before listening to their music, but with Monica Rizzio and her latest record “Washashore Cowgirl”, its tough to do.Fronting a well established and engrained bluegrass band in the New England community and looking at the liner notes with a list of “who’s who” in the bluegrass realm (Sierra Hill, Mark Erelli, Brittany Hass and more) certainly helps add to the high expectations of a record. The former Tripping Lily front gal hung up her condenser mic for a more robust band line up and it certainly shows on this latest release............"
HEARTSTRINGS REVIEW: Album Review 5 STARS - Monica Rizzio's 'Washashore Cowgirl
"During her decade-long run in Tripping Lily, Monica Rizzio proved she could perform carefully composed folk tunes like few others in the Northeast. Though Rizzio’s talents were always apparent and it seemed natural she would want an opportunity to perform lead vocals on more than a few tracks out of an album, it was difficult to imagine her performing anything other than the delicate note-perfect type of music she had become known for. Washashore Cowgirl, Rizzio’s debut solo album, makes those expectations seem insulting and limited."
HOW AN INDIE SONGWRITER CHARTED ON FOLK RADIO - By Chris Robley - CDBaby
"I met songwriter Monica Rizzio last year at the 1st DIY Musician Conference in Chicago, where we shared some ideas about crowdfunding (I’d just wrapped up a PledgeMusic campaign and she was about to launch one).In the months following, it’s been interesting to see how her campaign — and the album it brought about — took shape. From a marketing perspective, Monica hit all the right notes: good music, a story that makes an interesting hook for press, visual branding that enhances that story, advanced praise from some high-profile professional contacts, and more. One of the things that really interested me, though, was that in the month leading up to her album release her music was getting played a ton around the country and her songs were performing well on folk radio charts. I asked her a bit about the release of Washashore Cowgirl and the process of promoting her music, particularly to radio."
CAPE COD TIMES 'Washashore' Rizzio celebrates debut album - By Jim Sullivan
"Sometimes, you forget about the power a song can have. And then you get a reminder. Musicians live for moments like these......"