Divine Secrets Of Sister Sadie

SISTER-SADIEDivine Secrets Of Sister Sadie
By Bill Conger

“The whole is greater than the sum of    its parts.” That quote from Greek philosopher Aristotle appropriately applies to the critically-acclaimed all-female bluegrass band, Sister Sadie, the IBMA-nominated Emerging Artist of the Year in 2016. Individually, each lady in the group stands impressively on her own merits.

“The combination brings an extra energy that maybe we don’t bring individually,” explains Beth Lawrence, bass player and one of four vocalists in the group. “Every time you start playing, it’s not like you’re trying to plow through it or force your way through it. It’s effortless in a way, and you’re feeding off one another.”

Joining Lawrence in this multi-talented lineup of musicians is Tina Adair on mandolin, Deanie Richardson on fiddle, banjoist Gena Britt, and Dale Ann Bradley on vocals and guitar. Adair and Bradley lead their own bands. Richardson is an in-demand side player who has performed with Bob Seger, The Chieftains, Vince Gill, and Patty Loveless. Lawrence is a respected freelance player while Britt’s steady right hand lays down the groove currently for Alan Bibey & Grasstowne. Dale and Deanie were members of the all-female band, New Coon Creek Girls, and Gena was a member of Bradley’s band at one point in her career. Read entire article »

Guest Editorial: A Last Harvest
By Pete Wernick

Divine Secrets Of Sister Sadie
By Bill Conger

IBMA Awards

A Conversation With IBMA Executive Director
Paul Schiminger
By Derek Halsey

Mark Kuykendall —Back On The Road With Asheville Grass & Legendary Fiddler Bobby Hicks
By Derek Halsey

Bluegrass Bass — The Final Frontier
By Dan Eubanks

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LIVING THE DREAM  SPINNEY BROTHERS (Rick Spinney, Ryan Roberts) LIVING THE DREAM, Mountain Fever 160429

December 2016 Reviews


DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER BURDEN BEARER: BLUEGRASS GOSPEL AND A CAPPELLA FAVORITES Mountain Home MH16692 Doyle Lawson’s credentials and credibility in the bluegrass world go back half a century and more than 40 albums. It would take way, way more space than I have here to chronicle his innumerable milestones and accomplishments. On this generous […]

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ILYA TOSHINSKIY RED GRASS Hadley Music Group HMG1017 Ilya Toshinskiy is a banjo player from Russia and a founding member of the band Bering Strait. Learning to play banjo in Russia for a young lad was a difficult endeavor requiring a serious commitment and perseverance. He was training as a classical guitarist, but when he […]

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REBEKAH LONG HERE I AM LUK Records LUK 1001 Rebekah Long is one of the folks that the old saw applies to that goes something like this: “After nearly decades in the music business, she has become an overnight success.” She has just released her first solo album, Here I Am, but has known her […]

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THE EARLS OF LEICESTER| RATTLE AND ROAR Rounder Records 1166100001    It’s ironic that the man who stole the spotlight from Buck Graves as the most influential resonator guitar player produces recordings today that pay tribute to Graves and the band that brought him the most fame. He does this while forgoing his own style, emulating […]

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DAVID HOLT & JOSH GOFORTH GOOD MEDICINE High Windy HW1293 Partially filling the void left by the passing of Doc Watson, this duo explores the riches of old-time and country music to uncover all too rare gems. That’s a tall order, but these gentlemen are up to the task. Singing with a smile, playing myriad […]

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MOUNTAIN HEART BLUE SKIES Compass Records 74662 2 Mountain Heart returns with its first music recording in five years that the band calls the “most emotional performance of the best batch of songs of our careers.” The latest line-up includes Molly Cherryholmes (fiddle and vocals), guitar prodigy Seth Taylor, multi-instrumentalists Jeff Partin (bass, reso-guitar, and […]

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O’CONNOR BAND WITH MARK O’CONNOR COMING HOME Rounder Records 1166100003    I would never have predicted the one-time fiddle wunderkind Mark O’Connor would be leading a family bluegrass band. The O’Connor Band, however, has produced a truly striking album of singular beauty entitled Coming Home. Despite an almost no banjo album, Coming Home is irrefutably bluegrass […]

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ERYNN MARSHALL GREASY CREEK Dittyville Records 007    Fiddler Erynn Marshall, born in British Columbia, nurtured in Toronto, West Virginia, and Kentucky, and now living in Galax, Va., has contributed original old-time tunes before. Her “Springfield” is played in jams in many places. Her new CD features 13 original tunes. Some of them were commissioned, and […]

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RODGER KING & CASEY PENN KINGPENN Infrared Records No Number One of the greatest joys in reviewing CDs is the discovery of new music, especially when it’s the quality of Rodger King and Casey Penn. The Arkansas duo won a state-wide performing/songwriting competition hosted by Infrared Studio and, as a result, released Kingpenn. The 10-cut […]

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THE HIGH BAR GANG SOMEDAY THE HEART WILL TROUBLE THE MIND True North Records TND622 The debut recording from the Vancouver-based High Bar Gang drew from gospel. As their liner notes state, this new recording takes you “down a dark road” focusing on “heartache and the mournfulness of regret.” There are 13 tracks, all of […]

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VARIOUS ARTISTS THE COOPER SESSIONS No Label No Number The premise of this recording is to put together Maine melodic banjoist Ron Cody with fiddlers from a variety of genres (Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Mike Barnett, Darol Anger, Alex Hargreaves, Brittany Haas, Matt Glaser, Bruce Molsky, Tashina and Tristan Clarridge, and Jonathan Cooper) playing fiddles made by […]

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12STEVE GULLEY AND NEW PINNACLE AIM HIGH Rural Rhythm RUR-1135 Steve Gulley’s calling card, his ace in the hole, his bread and butter is the slow song, the angst-ridden country weeper, the gentle love song. His past recordings and this one, as well, make that plain. That should not lead you to conclude that his […]

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KRISTIN SCOTT BENSON STRINGWORKS Mountain Home MH16602 Kristin Scott Benson of The Grascals has been recognized among the top five-string artists for some time. The delightful Stringworks will only enhance that reputation. Unlike many albums by noted pickers, Stringworks distinguishes itself by including a balanced half-dozen each tunes and songs. The latter, in addition, feature […]

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WENDY MILLER & COUNTRY GRASS Old Homestead OHS-90226    They don’t make bluegrass like this much anymore. Great vocals, fine picking rooted deep in the genre, and fiddling worthy of a Western Swing band make this an exemplary album. Wendy Miller played mandolin with Larry Sparks along with Mike Lilly, before he played with J.D. Crowe. […]

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THE GOSPEL PLOWBOYS WELCOME HOME Mountain Fever MFR160610 What catches and holds the listener when hearing the Gospel Plowboys for the first time, myself included, is the manner in which they offer their vocals. Smooth. Seamless. Stirring. Clear. Lead or harmony, they never arrange it to cause themselves to strain, and they rarely include soaring, […]

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