Avi and Celia win Battle of the Bands

Soulful rock-bluegrass duo Avi Salloway and Celia Woods-Smith won the Battle of the Bands competition that was held last Sunday with original acoustic material and tight harmonies. “They gave us this big rock ‘n’ roll intro and then Celia and I got up there with two acoustic guitars,” said Salloway, explaining that they were supposed to play with their band Sage Blonde, but the organist and drummer were arrested on their drive to Burlington from Amherst, MA. “We like to have fun and live it up. But I think they lived it up a little too hard on the way up here and they got arrested,” joked Salloway.Avi and Celia have been playing together for three years and began playing with Sage Blonde last Fall. Organizers of Battle of the Bands from IRA promised Avi and Celia a set at Springfest, but didn’t follow through. IRA is now organizing to get them a set at Springfest ’07.The pair will be recording their first studio album in June and will be playing shows throughout the summer. Catch Sage Blonde (with all its members) at their Cinco de Mayo party, free this Friday at 10:30 p.m. in Billings. They will also be playing May 11 at Rira’s.For more information about Avi and Celia and for show dates, go to www.myspace.com/aviandcelia.