The Be Good Tanyas are a Canadian folk music group formed in 1999 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Their influences include folk, country, and bluegrass. The style of music they perform can be referred to as alt-country or Americana.
The Be Good Tanyas formed in 1999 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Original members Frazey Ford, Trish Klein, and Sam Parton first played together at open mics and tree planting camps in the Kootenays region of British Columbia. Texas native Jolie Holland is also one of the band’s original members performing with the group from 1999 to 2000 before returning to San Francisco to pursue a solo career.
The Tanyas gained U.S. exposure when the Showtime series The L Word selected one of their songs, “In Spite of All the Damage”, for inclusion in the series’ soundtrack. A live version of “In My Time of Dying” was also included in the third episode of the third season, in which Frazey Ford was featured as a nun and played the song in the opening sequence. The song “The Littlest Birds” was played during the first season of the Showtime series Weeds and was included in that season’s soundtrack. The band’s music has also been included in the CTV series The Eleventh Hour and in the feature film Because of Winn-Dixie. Their cover of Townes Van Zandt‘s “Waiting Around to Die” was also used in an episode of AMC‘s Breaking Bad. Their rendition of “What Are They Doing in Heaven?” was played on the episode “Searchers” of the AMC series Hell on Wheels.
After the release of the first two Be Good Tanyas albums, Trish Klein collaborated with Alison Russell under the band name Po’ Girl, a project that as of April 2007 has resulted in three albums: Po’girl, Vagabond Lullabies, and Home to You.
In 2007 all members of the band pursued their own projects.
In 2010 Frazey Ford released her debut solo album, Obadiah an album which featured a close collaboration with Trish Klein who is credited as writer on several songs. Ford toured Obadiah with Trish and her band through Europe and N. America through 2010–2011.
In 2011 it was announced the Be Good Tanyas would return to performing with an appearance at the Winnipeg Folk Festival heralding a return to performing. Following this the band released a retrospective of their work featuring new songs in 2012 entitled “A Collection.” This release saw them touring throughout N. America and Europe including an appearance in San Francisco at the Outside Lands festival. While there the band was invited to Grateful Dead guitarists’ Bob Weir’s studio (Tri Studios) where they recorded and video taped three songs.
In September 2012, Parton suffered a concussion as the vehicle she was a passenger in was struck from behind by a pickup truck. Medical procedures on her head during her convalescence revealed an aneurysm behind Parton’s left eye as well as a benign tumor. Parton took a leave of absence as the band continued touring North America and Europe in 2013 with fellow Vancouver musician and visual artist Caroline Ballhorn filling in.
In 2014 Frazey released her second solo album “Indian Ocean”. The album was recorded at the iconic Hi Recording Studio in Memphis, Tennessee with various members of Al Green’s original backing band; the Hi Rhythm Section. Trish Klein also appears on the album contributing electric guitar on two tracks. Frazey toured world-wide in support of Indian Ocean, and announced in 2019 her third solo album “U Kin B The Sun”, released the following year to critical acclaim.
In 2016 Parton resumed touring, accompanied by former band member Jolie Holland, and in September 2017 they released their long-awaited album Wildflower Blues, on Cinquefoil Records.