THE AMERICAN ROOTS SERIES AT THE LINDA PRESENTS: SWEETBACK SISTERS
Friday, Jun 15, 2012 - 8:00 pm, $15.00
American Roots Series
Hosted by Dan Johnson and his Expert Sidemen
The American Roots Series at The Linda tells the story of the American roots genre. Hosted by local roots artist Dan Johnson, the program presents the history of the genre and performances by American artists who tell in their own words how they embrace the broadly-influenced and shared traditions of "roots music." The term "roots" was coined in the mid-nineties and describes a type of music derived from a diverse span of musical styles passed on from generation to generation. Like its close relative "folk music," which was popularized by such greats as Bob Dylan, Woodie Guthrie and Phil Ochs, roots music tells stories of the "hopes, sorrows and convictions of ordinary people's everyday lives." The rich, acoustic sound of roots music draws from an eclectic range of genres, including blues, gospel, traditional country, zydeco, tejano, and Native American pow-wow. The American Roots Series at The Linda presents a series of five programs showcasing this intimate, heritage-based song style.
This event is part of the "American Roots Music" series and is made possible by the support of the New York State Council on The Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Sweetback Sisters Emily Miller and Zara Bode may not be blood relations, but their precise, family-style harmonies recall the best of country music from the Everlys to The Judds, as well as the spirited rockabilly energy of Wanda Jackson, one of the band's role models. Like the artists they admire, the Sweetbacks are concerned with the traditional subjects of heartbreak, revenge, remorse and staying strong in the face of relationships gone wrong, albeit with a contemporary sensibility. "We're a renegade retro band that mixes up country, swing and honky tonk," explains Bode. "Sometimes what we deliver is straight out of the 50s; other times it's BR549 meets The B52s."
The Sisters have been touring relentlessly since they released Chicken Ain't Chicken in 2009. Their new CD, Looking For A Fight showcases the band's razor sharp musicianship, complex arrangements and growing confidence as songwriters. "We tried to recreate the energy we get when we connect with an audience over the course of a song," Bode says. "The basic tracks were all done live, and we recorded most of the vocals with Emily and I crowded around one microphone. It gave the tracks a certain intimacy."
The songs were cut onto analogue tape to capture the classic touch the band brings to the music. "We weren't looking for perfection, just takes that truly felt good and really grooved," Miller adds. "Tape gives the songs a warm texture, and we blended old techniques and equipment with modern ones to get the sound and feel we were going for. The RCA ribbon mic we used for the vocals once belonged to the old Columbia Studios. I'd bet a dime that Miles Davis and Johnny Cash played into the very same one."
The band worked with producer Devin Greenwood to capture the sound of their favorite early country recordings. "We chose Devin because, although he'd never worked on anything as retro or countrified as The Sweetback Sisters, he has a very discerning ear and distinctive style," says the band's lead guitarist Ross Bellenoit. "He prepared by spending weeks immersed in the recording techniques and arrangements of the country records of the 50s and 60s. He put together the best gear and engineers for the job and managed to sculpt a timeless sound. He has an ability to hone in on the quality that makes a song great to help bring out our full potential on every track."
Like their raucous stage show, Looking For A Fight balances yesterday's hits with contributions from the band's four songwriters, Bode, Miller, Bellenoit and fiddler Jesse Milnes. And while the music may be energetic and sassy, sentiments of heartache, loss and longing are dominant. "Those are the themes that make country songs resound with listeners," Miller says. "We didn't only want to make a classic sounding record, but a classic feeling record as well."
No reviews at this time...check back later.
No Photos at this time...check back later
No Audio / Videos at this time...check back later