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She Keeps Bees may be a bassless guitar-and-drums duo playing indie rock with blues and country inflections, but their sound is less indebted to White Stripes or Black Keys and more aligned with Cat Power or even Amy Winehouse. Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jessica Larrabee has just the sort of smoky, rich voice and Dusty in Memphis phrasing to make those comparisons stick, even though she's much less of an R&B purist than either Chan Marshall or Winehouse. Larrabee, a native of Washington D.C., first gained notice as the leader of the English System, a Philadelphia based indie rock four-piece that formed in 2001 and released two albums, their self-titled debut and 2002's Banded Blue, before splitting. Moving from Philadelphia to Brooklyn, Larrabee dabbled in dance music, singing the diva-style lead vocals on Levon Vincent's 2005 house hit "The Thrill of Love" under the name Jessica Elle. At the same time, Larrabee started writing the songs that would become She Keeps Bees' debut album. Recording the album in her Brooklyn bedroom with just her computer and a microphone, Larrabee completed Minisink Hotel on her own, with the help of co-producer and engineer Andy LaPlant, who took on the role of Larrabee's drummer when She Keeps Bees made the transition into a performing band. Minisink Hotel, self-released in 2006, garnered favorable reviews and was followed in 2007 by the four-song EP Shhhh. ~ Stewart Mason, Rovi