Sister Sadie arrives stronger — and more fearless than ever — on new album

Article Contributed by Mountain Home … | Published on Saturday, January 27, 2024

In the fall of 2022, bluegrass-and-more quintet Sister Sadie released their first single in years (“Diane,” a vibrant country cover that the group premiered on the IBMA’s awards show), marking the beginning of a new era for the band, and stoking fans' anticipation for more new music. Today, the band meets that excitement with the release of No Fear, a dynamic and multi-dimensional album, that affirms Sister Sadie has overcome the challenges of the recent past to emerge stronger — and even more fearless — than ever.

Opening with the Ashley McBryde-written “Willow,” which features the powerful lead vocals of guitarist Jaelee Roberts and reached the top of the Bluegrass radio charts, No Fear moves quickly to reveal the band’s versatility.

The bluesy, down-home “If We Ain’t Drinking Then We’re Fighting” is followed by a melancholy “Blue As My Broken Heart,” co-written and sung by recent arrival Dani Flowers, and then the hard core bluegrass of “Baby You’re Gone,” driven by Gena Britt’s hard-edged banjo and muscular lead vocal, while the newest member, bassist Maddie Dalton, delivers a plaintive lead on another Flowers co-write, “Mississippi River Long.”

"Cannonball," the band's latest single, underlines their well-crafted blend of traditional and contemporary sounds, while the full-throated harmonies that surround Flowers’ foreboding lead vocal serve as a reminder of the group’s multiple IBMA Vocal Group of the Year awards.

As the set continues on, winding through country-flavored ballads, more hard-core bluegrass — including a fiery “Pad Thai Karaoke” that spotlights Richardson’s world-class fiddle — and the swampy groove of “Ode to the Ozarks,” which includes a guest appearance from McBryde, the depths of the group’s artistry and commitment become ever more apparent. And though they’re joined by a stellar group of supporting musicians, including frequent “Mister Sadie,” Tristan Scroggins, on mandolin, there’s no doubt who’s in the driver’s seat from the first note to the last.  

Says Richardson, “This is the record I have always dreamed of making with this band. The songwriting is strong among the Sadie ladies, as well as our talented circle of friends. You've got to have great songs; they will arrange themselves and come to life. I had a vision for this record before we even went in to record, and I am so grateful to Mountain Home Music for giving me the freedom to produce this record as I heard it, and as it evolved along the way. Gena, Jaelee, Dani, Maddie, Tristan, Seth, Tony, Catherine, Steve, Ashley, Mary and Hasee brought their very best. It takes a team and we have a great team.”

“This recording came together perfectly and each song was brought to life in the studio with No Fear,” notes Britt. “From the label to the songwriting and the musicians, I can't imagine a better dream team. My sisters in this band are incredible. We truly are a family, and it shows in this music — it has a new energy, and I'm so proud to be on this journey with these amazing women. The creativity happening in our music and the vocals in this band make me excited for what's to come! I'm so ready for everyone to hear this album, and I hope you love listening as much as we loved recording it for you.”

“I usually don't listen to one of my recordings after they are done,” confesses Richardson in conclusion. “I literally cannot stop listening to this one. Not because it's ours, but because it's damn good!”

Listen to No Fear HERE.

The album is streaming in Dolby Atmos spatial audio on Apple Music, Amazon Music and TIDAL.