The Ditty Bops - Biography
Few bands—if any—can claim to have completed a national tour of the United States via bicycle, but Los Angeles-based duo The Ditty Bops can. As North America’s best 1920’s acoustic cabaret pop band, The Ditty Bops traveled 4,502.75 miles on their bicycles, only stopping to play gigs at venues, parties, and wherever else they were invited during a 2006 tour that started in Los Angeles on May 23 and ended in New York City on September 2.
Abby DeWald (vocals/guitar), a native of northern California, grew up listening to ragtime music, while Amanda Barrett (vocals/mandolin/dulcimer) was brought up in a musical household in Topanga Canyon. She learned to play dulcimer at age six before spending her teens in Europe as a model. The pair met in New York City in 1999, but it wouldn’t be until after relocating to Los Angeles that they joined together in a 1920’s cover band with a flair for the theatrical.
The duo soon formed their own group—a Western swing throwback group that culled blues, ragtime and other old-timey elements—which they sweetly christened, The Ditty Bops. They immediately garnered a diehard fanbase with eclectic live gigs that featured puppet shows, stage props, wigs and histrionic skits, all mixed with their acoustic folk and jazzy sound.
After signing to the Warner Bros. label, The Ditty Bops released their debut full-length, The Ditty Bops (Warner) in 2004. Numerous tours ensued with the likes of the Dresdon Dolls and Count Zero, eventually leading to a nationwide cult following for the anachronistic tandem.
The duo added hints of ’60s girl groups, traditional country and tango to their sophomore album, Moon Over The Freeway (2006 Warner), accompanied by their subsequent bicycle tour of America in its support.
In spring of 2007, they started the non-profit organization, You and I Save the World, which raises awareness about environmental issues. The Ditty Bops self released their third full-length, Summer Rains (2008) via their website featuring pop-up book styled packaging printed on 100% recycled paper.