Four Bitchin' Babes began as a musical revue by humorous singer/songwriter Christine Lavin. But since Lavin's departure in September 1997, the group has shown that it's taken on a life of its own. Four Bitchin' Babes were one of several projects founded by Lavin ("folk music's cheerleader") in the early '90s. While her other projects, including On a Winter's Night, featured both men and women, the Babes showcased only female artists. The original quartet featured Lavin, Sally Fingerett, Megon McDonough, and Patty Larkin. When Larkin left to concentrate on her solo career following the release of the group's debut album, Buy Me Bring Me Take Me: Don't Mess with My Hair!!!, New York-based singer/songwriter Julie Gold ("From a Distance") replaced her, singing with the group on their second album, Buy Me Bring Me Take Me: Don't Mess with My Hair!!!, Vol. 2. Washington, D.C.-based vocalist Debi Smith, who replaced Gold, has remained with Four Bitchin' Babes through two albums. Lavin retained much of the group's spotlight until leaving in 1997 and being replaced by Camille West, a satirical singer/songwriter from Saratoga Springs, NY. Beyond Bitchin! followed in 2000.
In addition to recording and performing with Four Bitchin' Babes, each woman has continued to pursue her respective solo career. Fingerett, who won the prestigious New Folk Award at the Kerrville Folk Festival in 1990, has recorded three solo albums and numerous advertising jingles. McDonough, a native of Chicago, has combined her musical interests with work as an actress. As an actress, McDonough toured Japan in the musical revue Beehive and appeared in the Chicago productions of Pump Boys and Dinettes and Quilters. In 1997, she garnered acclaim in the title role of Always Patsy Cline during a six-week run in Chicago. Smith has recorded as a soloist and as half of a duo, the Smith Sisters, who recorded four albums produced by Doc and Merle Watson. A multiple winner of the Washington-area music award (Wammie), Smith released her debut solo album, In My Dreams, in the late '90s. West released her debut album, Mother Tongue, in 1996. ~ Craig Harris
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