THE REFUGEES BIO
The trio of artists that is The Refugees emerged on the music scene as a verifiably unmatched force of talent, diversity, and experience. Each successful in their own right as a solo artist, Cidny Bullens, Deborah Holland and Wendy Waldman formed their unique and innovative group in 2007 and since that time have been wowing audiences, radio DJs, and music critics alike with their soaring harmonies, indelible musicianship, and unforgettably humorous stage presence.
Individually, The Refugees have logged almost five decades in the industry, with more than twenty solo albums and multiple Grammy Award nominations to their credit, featuring musical styles that blend country, rock, folk, blues and Americana. To describe them as eclectic would be an understatement. These three artists have utilized their intense drive and relentless passions to create an entirely new sound.
UNBOUND, their debut release on Wabuho Records was released in January of 2009 and garnered many awards. The album received rave reviews and is still a favorite on folk and Americana radio. The talented trio plays guitars, dobro, bass, mandolin, harmonica, accordion, and percussion, and features a mix of innovative new co-writes and fresh arrangements of a selection of their previously recorded radio favorites, including “Save the Best for Last,” and “Fishin’ in the Dark.”
Their second CD, THREE, was released in January 2012 on Wabuho Records (Burnside Distribution) and in April in Europe (Blue Rose Records). Three features the trademark Refugees sound but with the addition of drums (Scott Babcock) and special featured performances on fiddle by the world-renowned Sam Bush. Since its release Three has garnered rave reviews and charted in the Top 10 on Roots Music Report for many months.
HOW FAR IT GOES, 2018, is 6-Song EP came about during a touring hiatus. The trio got together in Los Angeles a few times to write, and this was the result. It’s a mix of genres recorded with a rhythm section and for the first-time keyboards are included. In a mix of genres and storylines, these songs reflect their wide musical range and talent.
There newest album, CALIFORNIA, ten cover songs of iconic, harmony-focused California bands of the 60s and 70s was released on May 19th, 2023. One of the strongest components of The Refugees are their 3-part vocals. Cidny had suggested The Refugees record an album of some of the bands that featured 3-part harmonies and were a big influence on all three members. The band combed through many songs and finally narrowed it down to this list. These recordings are a tribute to, and, The Refugees own unique take on, classic recordings by The Beach Boys (“Good Vibrations,” “Sail On Sailor”), The Mamas and the Papas (“Monday Monday,” “Dedicated to the One I Love”), Crosby, Stills, and Nash (“You Don’t Have To Cry,” “Carry On,”), The Bryds (“So You Want To Be a Rock and Roll Star”) Sly and the Family Stone (“Stand”), The Flying Burrito Brothers (“Sin City”) and Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”). Of course, The Refugees put their own unique stamp on each track, making California not only a celebration of what was, but a revelation of the power these songs still hold today.
Cidny Bullens (formerly Cindy) got started as a studio back-up singer for Bob Crewe and then toured with Elton John. Cindy garnered two Grammy Award nominations for her work on the Grease Movie Soundtrack and her own album Desire Wire, has had several Nashville co-writes on the Country charts. Cindy's album Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth (1999, written after the death of her 11 year old daughter Jessie) won AFIM's Best Rock Album in 2000 and became a worldwide phenomenon for bereaved parents. In 2016, Cidny premiered his one person show Somewhere Between: Not an Ordinary Life. Cid performed the show all around the country between 2016-18, and it was voted Best Solo Show for 2016 by The Nashville Scene. His memoir, TransElectric: My Life as a Cosmic Rock Star, with forward by Sir Elton John was released on June 6, 2023. Cid is appearing at bookstores around the country whenever he can. Cid signed a record deal with Kill Rock Star's Nashville imprint in the summer of 2023 with his first single release on August 1, 2023, a soulful duet written and recorded with his long time friend and Grammy winning singer/songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman. The full album Little Pieces will be released on October 27, 2023.
Deborah Holland began her career as the singer and songwriter for the critically acclaimed band, Animal Logic (with Stewart Copeland of the Police and virtuoso jazz-bassist Stanley Clarke). From 1987-1991 they released 2 albums, toured internationally, had videos on MTV, VH-1, and Much Music, made numerous TV appearances (David Letterman, The Tonight Show, etc.). One of the songs on Animal Logic II “Another Place,” is a duet with Jackson Browne. Deborah has released 6 solo albums, has scored and had dozens of songs placed in film and TV (Circuitry Man, Longmire, Highlander 11, My Name is Earl, The Beast, etc.), was a long-time music professor at California State University of Los Angeles, and then Langara College in Vancouver, BC. In 2022, Animal Logic released 2 new critically acclaimed singles in 2022. She is a dual American-Canadian citizen.
Wendy Waldman is recognized as one of the leading recording artists and songwriters in music beginning with her acclaimed solo Warner Bros. records and then as a member of Bryndle (Karla Bonoff, Andrew Gold, Kenny Edwards). In 1973 Rolling Stone named her first album “singer-songwriter debut of the year.” She is responsible for penning dozens of songs for other artists including some of the best loved and most well-known songs of the past several decades including Vanessa Williams’ “Save the Best for Last,” and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s (and then Garth Brooks) version of “Fishin’ in the Dark.” She is highly regarded for her work as a record producer as well, overseeing countless projects in multiple genres, including Suzy Boguss, New Grass Revival, John Cowan, and international pop star Meitek Szczesniak. Wendy's newest solo album will be released in the fall 2023.