In the liner notes, the women of Sister Sadie say: “We are in a very natural state when we perform as a group. No struggle…just in tune with thought, spirit, and musical expression.” The sophomore effort from this all-female band of bluegrass superstars does not disappoint. The instrumental virtuosity and soulful singing fairly jump off the grooves of their latest recording, and the same unity of high-spirited bluegrass fun is the banner that continues to fly over Sister Sadie on these new tracks.
Five-time IBMA Female Vocalist Of The Year Dale Ann Bradley (The Dale Ann Bradley Band and New Coon Creek Girls), Tina Adair (Tina Adair Band), and Gena Britt (Alan Bibey & Grasstowne, Lou Reid & Carolina, Petticoat Junction) split lead vocal duties. They are each masters at telling a story in song: alternately scaring you to death (“Jay Hugh”); showing a little grit and attitude in Adair’s “Losing You Blues” and Dan Fogelberg’s “Morning Sky”; dredging the depths of heartbreak on “Love Has No Pride”; and exploring the depths of mature, level-headed love on “It’s You Again,” “I’m Not A Candle In The Wind,” and “Something To Lose.” In the latter, Britt sings: You don’t need nobody / You don’t need nobody needing you / But don’t you ever wonder what it might be like to have something to lose?That’ll preach, from the book of love! Adair, Bradley, and Britt do such an amazing job with “Love Has No Pride” that Linda Ronstadt fans will probably rush out to a Sister Sadie show and buy a CD to hear their cover of the song the legendary singer made famous back in 1973.
Charismatic fiddler Deanie Richardson (The Opry House Band, The Chieftains, Bob Seger, Patty Loveless, Vince Gill, Dale Ann Bradley) and monster bassist Beth Lawrence (Mark Newton Band, Stevens Sisters, Ron Block, Gena Britt, Lawrence Family Band) are both fine vocalists who don’t sing on this particular album. But they sure make their respective fiddles sing with absolute exuberance and emotion.
Dale Ann wraps up the album with Tom T. Hall’s “I Washed My Face In The Morning Dew,” a perfect anthem for the Golden Rule and protest against social injustice, needed now more than ever. The only problem with the new Sister Sadie album is that there’s not a third one coming out next week. We hope it won’t be long until the next one ladies! (Pinecastle Records, 2514 River Rd., Ste. 105, Piedmont, SC 29673, www.pinecastlemusic.com.)NC