Mama's Family

The folk-rock duo Mama's Black Sheep are looking forward to ''pickin' and a grinnin''' at Capital Pride

Ashland Miller and Laura Cerulli both feel like the black sheep of their respective families. ”Neither of our mothers feels that way, oddly enough,” says Miller. ”[But] each of us has one older sibling, and both of them are in the six-figures, with the big house and all that.” Not Miller and Cerulli.

”We’re still [just] pickin’ and a grinnin’ in the beer joint, as my father likes to put it,” says Miller.

Mama's Black Sheep
Mama’s Black Sheep

The guitarist Miller and drummer Cerulli have both been rocking beer joints, not to mention festivals, for more than a decade now. They teamed up to form the folk-rock duo Mama’s Black Sheep about two and a half years ago.

”I definitely feel like Laura’s influence has changed me,” says Miller. ”She’s very bluesy in her writing and in her style, the way that she plays. I feel like I’ve really grown in working with her.”

The two met at a Maryland music festival in 2002. At the time, Miller was a guitarist in the country duo CommonbonD, and Cerulli was playing with another singer-songwriter. Cerulli would go on to work with CommonbonD as a guest drummer in the studio and on tour, in addition to working with her own band, Cerulean Groove. Cerulli was also in the popular Baltimore-based band SONiA & disappear fear.

Both have performed at Capital Pride as part of their various bands, but this year will mark their debut as Mama’s Black Sheep.

”We are going to be a trio that day actually,” says Cerulli, explaining that they will be joined by violinist Helen Hausmann. Over the course of a phone conversation, it becomes clear that Miller and Cerulli have a natural rapport. They generally like to share stories and anecdotes in between songs, though with just a 20-minute set, Miller laughs, ”It’s gonna be more like, ‘Hello D.C. Pride. Hit it!”’

Mama’s Black Sheep performs Sunday, June 12, on the Capital Pride Festival Main Stage. For the complete Mainstage lineup, click here.


From the President of the Board of Directors

Week in Pride Calendar

Parade – Sat, June 11
Map & Contingents

Festival – Sun June 12
Map, Booths & Vendors
Entertainment Lineup

Parties and Club Events


Jennifer Holliday with Tony Moran
Lil’ Mo

Jonathan Bascope
Lost Bois
Mama’s Black Sheep
Venus D Lite
Bettina Shelker

Other Options
Taste of Pride: Dining Out

Interactive Film: Moulin Rouge


Mind, Body & Soul of Capital Pride

Pride Committee

Community Partners

Pride Planning Committee

Behind the Pride Guide Covers

Doug Rule is a theater critic and contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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