The locals call someone who moves to Cape Cod but was not born there a Washashore. 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!
Division in the U.S. is what led Monica Rizzio to unite some good pals -- Tom Rush, Patty Larkin and Mark Erelli specifically -- for her new single, "Lady Liberty," premiering exclusively below.....
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."
MONICA RIZZIO had to write this single back in 2017. She had something to say about the state of unity (or lack thereof) in the United States. She saw, as many of us did, the division that was being baked into politics, and the right into our cultural discourse. The breath of polarization was just starting to fissure some of the fabric of the country. Monica wanted to say that “we need to look at what America truly represents.....
"Monica Rizzio is a Washashore. Not only is she a Washashore, but she’s most definitely a Washashore Cowgirl. For those of you not “in the know,” a washashore is what born and bred Cape Codders call those who move there from anyplace beyond the Bourne Bridge, the bridge that connects the Cape to the rest of the state of Massachusetts. Monica’s roots are in Texas and was very much a cowgirl so it seems only natural that her upcoming debut solo album be calledWashashore Cowgirl. She’s a most talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter; she’s on a journey to spread her music far and wide and may be washing ashore at a town near you any day now......."
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."
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......"