Band Spotlight

Get to Know the Cleveland County-based Acoustic Trio, The Whiskey Gingers

How did the band’s name derive?

Michael Bendure: Well, we're all gingers, and two of us like whiskey, so the name came together pretty naturally. 

Who are your band members and what do they play?

Jess Crothers: acoustic guitar, vocals

Jenny Bendure: acoustic guitar, vocals

Michael Bendure: bass, vocals, tambourine

What type of music do you play?

Jess: Acoustic folk rock/Americana. Inspiration singers/bands include Brandi Carlisle, Patty Griffin, Indigo Girls, the Decembrists, Dolly Parton, the Secret Sisters, Tom Petty

Band's background?

The Whiskey Gingers began with Jess Crothers and Jenny Bendure, who met at the SongWriters Association of Norman (SWAN) in mid-2017 and quickly formed a musical bond and friendship. Both have performed in previous bands and have close to 20 years' combined experience. They started playing as an acoustic duo in the spring of 2018, adding singer/songwriter Michael Bendure (also of Heartbreak Rodeo) on bass and vocals later that summer. The acoustic trio performs original music and cover tunes ranging from folk to classic rock and pop that highlight their rich vocal harmonies. For certain venues, they add a drummer to kick things up a notch.

​In 2020, the band released their first full-length album, You Should Know, which was recorded by Oklahoma guitar legend Terry "Buffalo" Ware and mixed and mastered by Carl Amburn at Mousetrap Studios. The album is available for streaming on Spotify and YouTube or for purchase on iTunes, Amazon and other outlets.

Does anyone write original music?

Michael: We all do. Our album features 12 original songs, and each of us either wrote the songs or we co-wrote them together.

Jen: For example, I wrote "Daisy's Song," about our small dachshund; Jess wrote "Cowboy," about her father; and Michael wrote "Ride the River," about playing live music with friends. Jess and I co-wrote "Light in Your Eyes," about a trucker in love.

Where do you perform locally?

Michael: Lots of breweries, wineries and restaurants, like Hollywood Corners, Libby's, Angry Scotsman Brewing, Frenzy Brewing, Pryor's Pizza, Native Spirits Winery, the Farm Girl Fair, the Grand Casino—lots of great places with great people! We occasionally play with drummer Carl Amburn, who owns Mousetrap Studios and mixed and mastered our album.

Jess: We're planning to head back into the studio for our next album soon, as well as take some out-of-state tours.


Each band member listed their top-three song selections on Spotify.

Jess: All of mine are gonna be Kids' Bop, 'cause I'm a nanny!

-The Decemberists: "Make You Better"

-Grace Potter: "Love is Love"

-Sarah Watkins: "Like New Year's Day"

Jen: I frequently listen to lo-fi beats playlists while I work, so the songs I often come back to are:

-Tom Petty: "Won't Back Down,"


-James Taylor's "Carolina”

Michael: I host a podcast called 40 Minutes of Funk, as well as a two-hour radio show on KGOU every Friday night called Tonic: The Funky Groove Show, so my songs have a very funky flavor:

-Prince: "1000 Light Years From Here"

-Analog Son: "Funk Back"

-Professor Longhair: "Doin' It (Part Two)"

The Whiskey Gingers


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