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The Stairwell Sisters 

When: Fri., Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m. 2011
Price: $18, $20

The Stairwell Sistersactually did start with rhythm guitarist Sue Sandlin and dobro ace Lisa Berman singing in a stairwell, but the Bay Area-based quintet -- banjo player Evie Laden, bassist Martha Hawthorne, and fiddler Stephanie Prausnitz are the other Sisters --is now considered one of the top old-time string bands in the world. Their blend of folk, bluegrass, and world music influences twists the music into odd new shapes, but they remain rooted by their love of traditional music and their compelling, old-fashioned harmonies. They're also first-rate clog dancers and their a cappella tunes will leave you breathless. At St. Cyprian's Church (2097 Turk St., San Francisco) on Friday, Dec. 2. 7:30 p.m., $18, $20. NoeValleyMusicSeries.com

— j. poet

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