Brother, sister duo brings the country to Columbia

By Cristina Aguirre

Their passion for country music is what brought brother and sister, Aby and Tessa Gutierrez to start performing together since high school. From Franksville, Wisconsin, the duo came to Columbia to study Music. Tessa, a freshmen Vocal Performance major and Aby, a sophomore Music Business major, have performed all over Columbia, such as Acoustic Kitchen and on Wed. April 27th at the Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., for Biggest Mouth, the granddady of Columbia’s Big Mouth open mic night series.

“I think it will be cool for us to bring a new style to the table,” Aby said. “You don’t get much country music here. Our music is more more like newer country, so more and more the styles start to mash and blend into one style. I think we will have a good shot, it’ll be cool.”

Competing against 12 other acts, Tessa said she’s exciting to perform and the best part of singing to a large crowd is knowing that they are all listening to her and the stories told in their music.

“I like the feeling when your done and everyone is clapping for you…it’s a feeling that you can’t replace,” Tessa said. “It’s nice to have some variety in the competition, especially since there isn’t anyone performing country.”

Tessa began singing at a young age and Aby picked up a guitar in seventh grade.

“I guess it’s kind of like a rockstar story. I found a guitar at my house, no strings all beaten up… and there was a guitar class at my school and I was like, ‘I want to take this guitar, it’s a cool guitar.’ Thinking back now I don’t even know why I wanted to touch a guitar.”

The duo started to play together after Tessa realized she never wanted to sing with a group after performing at a competition with a friend.

“We practiced everyday and once we got to the competition, she forgot all the words,” Tessa said. “I sat there for the whole song whispering the lyrics…after that I was like ‘I’m never going to sing with anyone again.’ My dad told me to play songs with Aby and ever since I’ve done stuff with my brother.”

Aby and Tessa hope to bring the country to the Metro on April 27th and show what they are all about. “If we win, I’m going to Disneyland, Super Bowl style,” said Aby. “But I don’t know if Chicago is ready for these boots.”

For more information on Aby and Tessa, go to their website at

To find out more about the Biggest Mouth Music Competition, visit