The Lady Crooners at The Playwright

By Laurie Heuston

Three-part harmonies are the crux of The Lady Crooners. The rootsy folk-pop trio was founded in 2010 in San Francisco by siblings Joseph and Nadia Krilanovich.

“Nadia and I started the band with the idea of making music and having fun doing it,” Joseph Krilanovich says. “It turned into a natural progression. Nadia will sing a bit of a melody, and I’ll counter with something on the guitar. We seem to be able to complete each other’s sentences, so to speak.”

The Lady Crooners will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at The Playwright Public House, 258 A St., Ashland. There is no cover for the show.

Former Ashland resident Kevin Conness — now based in San Francisco — will play electric and acoustic guitar with the Krilanoviches, and Megan Krilanovich will sing backup vocals.

“Nadia is the lyrical powerhouse,” Joseph Krilanovich says. “She’s a force to be reckoned with. She has a bachelor of fine arts from Western Washington University and a few children’s books published. She’s a creative person all the way around.”

Megan Krilanovich and Conness joined The Lady Crooners this year. The band adds bassist Jason Braatz and drummer John Smart when they play gigs in the city.

“Kevin is one of the happiest people I know, and he’s an incredible guitar player with tremendous skill,” Joseph Krilanovich says. “He brings ideas to the songwriting that really makes it spark.”

The Krilanoviches grew up in a musical family. Their father was one of nine brothers who sang together as a band in Southern California. Nadia and Joseph Krilanovich are the oldest of four siblings.

“Our idea of a good time is getting the whole family together for a meal and then pulling out a guitar or two and start singing together,” Joseph Krilanovich says. “We have no trouble harmonizing. We don’t have to second guess what the other is going to do next.”

The Lady Crooners’ newest CD, “The Surface” (engineered by Smart), was released in June. It follows an eponymous debut released in April 2012.

“We recorded it in a beautiful studio in Oakland,” Joseph Krilanovich says. “We put a lot of effort into it. There’s a tremendous amount of creativity between us that drives us forward, and writing songs is like having a lot of little love affairs. Songwriting comes easy for us. There’s always material we want explore.”

The 2012 debut CD was an amalgamation of the band’s personalities — and was all over the place stylistically, Krilanovich says.

“Then with ‘The Surface,’ we took pieces that resonated with us the most,” he says. “The music is closer to who we really are. It’s a style that is thoughtful, playful, romantic and mischievous.”

The band added percussion to “The Surface” to move it from quiet folk to something more accessible to pop listeners.

“It felt like a natural maturity,” Krilanovich says. “It all came together, and it’s given us an amazing feeling of accomplishment. We’re ready to take it out into the world.

“We’ve played with other musicians, but now we’ve reached this group. We’ve worked hard and ultimately come to this place. This is the group.”