Cape Cod locals call someone who moves here 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 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 played 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. The title track is the culmination of growing up with a mullet in the bible-heavy plains of Quitman, Texas and somehow winding up on the same shores as the Pilgrims.
Monica has become one of the most reliable supporting acts around, having shared the stage with Chris Botti, Boz Scaggs, Diana Krall, Joan Osborne, and Slaid Cleaves. In December of 2014, she performed as part of Tom Rush’s band at his annual show at Symphony Hall in Boston. She played fiddle, guitar, ukulele and sang backups as well as performing her original songs “Luckier Than You” and “Willie Nelson” with Red Molly backing her up.
Rizzio is a founder and co-owner of the roots-based music school, West Bend Music, providing all-ages private instruction. In 2014 she founded and launched Vinegrass, a non-profit music production company that raises money for scholarships, instruments, and grants through concerts and an annual roots music festival.
“It’s time that I saddle on again and hit the road sharing my crazy washashore cowgirl story,” says Rizzio, who is probably most at home when she is on stage sharing her songs.
Monica Rizzio performs with the Cape Symphony for Holiday on the Cape, December 1, 2, and 3. Call 508.362.1111 or buy online.