I love this band. Their ’02 record Stories Often Told was one of my favorites that year. Their latest will probably make the list for ’04.
It’s hard to describe the band. See if this works for you. Mix Sweethearts of the Rodeo-era Byrds, some Buffalo Springfield, psychedelic touchstones, and themes to imagined westerns, and you’ve got the sound. Brothers, and guitarists and singers, Dallas and Travis Good drive the band, and their vision is odd, but beautiful.
Things kick off with flying Teles on “Northcumberland West.” There’s soaring vocals, chickin’-pickin’, chordal hammer-ons, and lower notes that twang with a Don Rich-like glee. “Translucent Sparrow” is a plain-old-country tune. Well, that is until we get to the late-’60s-style jam in the middle. If you listen closely, you’ll even hear bassist Sean Dean sneak in the “Hey Joe” bass lick while all that is going on.
“1000 Cities Falling (Part 1)” is a nice country ballad with perfect finger-picked acoustic and gorgeous steel guitar from guest Paul Brainard. To really feel what this band is about though, check out the instrumental “The Curdled Journey.” It’s a majestic, soaring tune with singing guitars and pounding drums. “Why Would Anybody Live Here” is a twangy ballad with soft vocals that’s a perfect way to wrap up the record.
In case you’re wondering, the band hails from Canada. That’s not surprising when you think of some of the folks that have created rock and roll who come from that area. The Band, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell are all the same kind of “odd” artists (meant only in the best way) that created great music, with a very different feel from their American contemporaries. If you think the rock/pop thing has gotten a bit stale, check out the Sadies. Their records feel like a bit of an adventure, and leave you with that feeling.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jan. ’05 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.