A Bankesters Farewell

A Bankesters Farewell
A Bankesters Farewell
A Bankesters Farewell

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Locally grown bluegrass band, The Bankesters, will perform its final show in Southern Illinois.
Dakota Holden

Locally grown bluegrass band, The Bankesters, will perform its final show in Southern Illinois at the Old Feed Store in Cobden Saturday, Nov. 4th.

Their long run as a family band will be coming to close and they will be celebrating their journey with one last farewell show.

Nightlife caught up with Melissa Triplett to talk about their growth as a band and their future endeavors.

The Bankesters were raised surrounded by music at a young age. All three sisters, Emily, Alysha, and Melissa took piano lessons and eventually grew into playing bluegrass.

“It was a natural extension of what we were doing,” Triplett said. “I ended up playing bass because I was the tallest. Emily and Alysha both started out playing fiddle, then people kind of went what they were interested in.”

Parents Phil and Dorene Bankester play guitar as well as Melissa’s husband, Kyle Triplett, primarily playing banjo.

Their success was built on years of practice and hard work. Melissa said.

“It was really a slow and steady progression over the years for us,” she said. “From there, we were getting gigs that were a little more high-profile. It was kind of an evolution.”

The Bankesters released three independent albums prior to their record deal with Compass Records, which led to three more albums. The latest being Nightbird which was released earlier this year.

“We self-produced it,” Triplett said. “We arranged all the material for it. Getting to work collaboratively without an external producer was really cool. It ended up being authentically Bankesters. It was a lot of fun.”

Though The Bankesters are composed of family members, their talent and style reflects new, contemporary music that can’t be found in any family band. Their popular covers of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes and “Cups (When I’m Gone)” featured in the hit movie, “Pitch Perfect,” are another way they set themselves apart from the “family band” stigma that they had to face.

Melissa talked to Nightlife about the decision to let go of the band.

“We got to the point where everyone is grown up and has separate lives,” she said. “It’s hard to keep it going. It was almost two years ago, we kind of had a conversation about the band, what it was looking like and where it was going. We decided we were going to record one more album, tour a little bit following the release, and then retire.”

Members Melissa and Kyle Triplett are continuing to stay in Carbondale and pursue their own musical endeavors, while Alysha is deciding her next big step this coming spring.  Phil and Dorene Bankester are planning their move to Maryland in the next year for Phil’s new position as a videographer. Emily is already living in Nashville with husband and rising star, Mo Pitney and their daughter.

“It’s a great venue in every way,” Triplett said of the Old Feed Store. “The people who go to the Old Feed Store are there because they love music. It’s the best feeling in the world to playing for people who love what you’re doing, what their hearing, and are enthusiastic.”

The Bankesters want to everyone to know how much they appreciate the love and support they have received over the years.

“It’s bittersweet having it come to an end, but it has been a really wonderful journey,” Triplett said.