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We Three musical ensemble to release first album this weekend
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Above, the ladies of We Three are from left: Julia Halford, Linda Higgins and Phyllis David.

While Christmas is a busy and exciting time for most everyone, it’s especially busy and exciting this year for Julia Halford, Phyllis David and Linda Higgins of the local musical ensemble,We Three. The trio will be performing at various Christmas singing events, both locally and out of town. Among those events will be several release parties for its first album Christmas Blessings. The group has release parties scheduled for Friday at Bend Dusty’s and Saturday at New Horizons, both in Camden.

The parties are public events and the ladies welcome and encourage all interested community members to join the musical festivities. "We always have fun," David said. "We don’t always know what to expect, but it’s not about us. It’s about giving to the community."

David said the trio wants to give back to the community because the community has given so much to it. "Our community has really embraced us," she said, as many local businesses have sponsored them in various ways, booking them for concerts and entertainments, promoting the trio and its upcoming cd and most recently, in the case of Bend Dusty’s and New Horizons, by hosting album release parties.

"We’ve received so much support from so many people, businesses and organizations," David said. "Larry DuBose of DuBose Music in Lugoff was especially supportive of us," she said and added that his recent passing was a tremendous loss to the community. "We talked to him in his last days," she said. "He always kept up with us."

Another important factor in We Three’s success has been its producer, Buddy Harre, also of Camden. Harre has played a critical role in helping Halford, David and Higgins record Christmas Blessings, as the album has been recorded at his studio. Halford taught Harre at Camden High School "years ago," she said, adding that she’s taught almost "the whole county." Halford describes Harre as the fourth member of the group and said the ladies love having him around.

When discussing the way the group came together and the luck it has had thus far, Higgins said that "things have just fallen in our laps. It’s as though this was all just meant to be." As far as recording the CD, Higgins said the experience "is kind of like birthing your first child. You have no idea what to expect at the beginning, middle or end of it, but you know it’s coming."

The trio says what makes them different from other ensembles is their passion for their craft and their ability to blend vocally. Higgins noted that sometimes when they listen to something they’ve recorded, "We can’t tell who’s singing what. When we sing in unison, it often sounds like one voice."

It was this passion combined with their various gifts that encouraged the ensemble to make 2013 the year to release their CD. Halford’s son, Hollis, and Kevin Taylor, helped with licensing, artwork, packaging, replication and various other music production aspects, David explained. Along with Harre, Hollis Halford and Taylor have been essential to the culmination and success of the project, she said.

David mentioned again that We Three’s success, while greatly enhanced by the support of their friends, family and community, has tended to come to them in a meant-to-be sort of way.

"We needed a logo for the album," she said, "Then we saw Martha Bruce at the Colonial Cup and she offered to create one for us. We needed photos of ourselves for the album and Cindy Fussell offered to do a photo shoot."

Pastor Thomas Bell of Camden is a close friend of We Three and described them as "three amazing ladies. They have a powerful spirit and presence and they share that with the audience." He complimented their "ability to be diverse and to absorb the ambiance" of the various locales in which they perform.

Their CD, which is described as "easy-listening Christmas music" is available for purchase at several local establishments, including Everyday Gourmet; Books on Broad; Box, Paper, Scissors; 1011 Galleria and other places. There is also an electronic order form that can be accessed by visiting the groups Facebook page at Information about upcoming events is also listed there.

"We’re lucky to have found each other," David said and Halford added, "We have fun, we love each other and people always say that it shows!"