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THE SECRET SISTERS —YOU DON’T OWN ME ANYMORE (New West)

 

www.newwestrecords.com

 

www.secretsisters.com

 

You Don’t Own Me Anymore could in all reality be seen as Alabama’s Secret Sisters’ comeback album. For despite the fact it is only three years since their last album, Put Your Needle Down the intervening period saw their career take a severe downward spiral. This as they (Laura Rogers and Lydia Slagle (Rogers) were dropped by their label, things got so bad they were forced to file for bankruptcy. Laura at one point took a job cleaning houses such was their state of affairs. But now, through the support and help of people like Brandi Carlile who offered to produce an album for them with her collaborators Tim and Phil Hanseroth we a new record. It would not have been possible but for fans lending support for a Pledge Music campaign launched by the sisters. The amount needed was reached in just over a month. With this boast in confidence the girls got down in earnest, writing new material for the record, and with help from the three producers plus Matthew Perryman Jones (“Carry Me”) and Cheyenne Medders (“The Damage”) we were in business. It still left room for Paul Simon’s plaintive folk ballad “Kathy’s Song”, they had previously recorded a single that featured among others Simon.  

 

While I could happily have picked a more cheery note to close, “Flee As A Bird” the traditional tune is given lyrics courtesy of Mary Shindler is more sombre and purer than the many might welcome. Beautifully performed though it might be. Otherwise, it is business as usual as the girls provide seamless harmonies and superb lead vocals throughout. But you would expect nothing less from them! The Secret Sisters are an extraordinarily talented who make music unique to them selves; although some songs are of a vintage vein like they come from an old chest found in someone’s attic.So authentic sounding are they. 

 

Back to the main core of the album, one that has them spread their wings. On occasions the lyrics speak of some of hard times and disappointments as they embrace with vigour music of the American South. Powered by players Tim and Phil Hanseroth (acoustic, electric, slide, bass guitar, banjo, drums and percussion between them), Carlile) guitar, piano, synth), plus Mark Pickerel (drums) Josh Neumann (cello), Jacob Hoffman (piano, French horn) the production is first class. “Tennessee River Runs Low” is a thrusting restless number as strains of jazz and folk join country and through the use of banjo and, with “Mississippi” (complete with gorgeous harmonies, and some David Rawlings-esque guitar) the album could not enjoy a finer start away. And with the neatly package, old sounding “Carry Me” speak of feeling the shame of seeing the money has gone, and with them speaking of how they miss Alabama and its southern charm “King Cotton” is superb. Loaded in powerful vocals, banjo and barroom piano a good time is had by everyone, it sounds like it was recorded live with no additions.

 

Paul Simon’s “Kathy’s Song” is a perfect vehicle for their tender close knit vocal harmonies, I believe, if asked they could perform an hours worth music of this ilk. So effortless and beautiful is the sound that transpires. One of the strongest, and most melodic songs on the record is the excellent “He’s Fine”. Set to be a huge favourite live it speaks of a girl about to get married and how her future husband cheats on her with a Louisiana girl. Striking while the iron is hot they ease, sweetly through tender ballad “To All The Girls Who Cry”. While with recollections of childhood days, and wanting to relive those times they speak of how it would nice to be “Little Again”. Their terrific sibling vocals, and sympathetic backing is as good if not better than on anytime on the album. More contemporary, but in a good way you have “You Don’t Own Me Anymore”. Folky ballad “The Damage” shows grace and great poise as not for the one and only time they come up with vocals, and a general sound from way back and with some of finest vocals on the record the pop country “'Til It's Over” is peerless. No one does it better!

 

                                              Maurice Hope              

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This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

It is the sum total of over ten years of tending a tender love of music by Shaun, a life time with Trailer Star and five or so years of an association with Rob Ellen from Medicine Music.

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www.euroamericanachart.eu

1
Rod Picott
70 pts.
Out Past The Wires
Welding Rod Music
GC,AN,LM,SZ,TK
2
JW Roy & The Royal Family
62 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,PJ,DH
3
Steph Cameron
61 pts.
Daybreak over Jackson Street
Pheromona
ML
4
JD McPherson
54 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
AR,RK,LK
5
Sarah Morris
53 pts.
Hearts In Need Of Repair
Independent
 
6
Turnpike Troubadours
52 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
MA,GF
7
Chris Hillman
51 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
 
8
Hayward Williams
39 pts.
Pretenders
Why River Records
KG,JB,JBO
9
Joe Henry
38 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
 
10
Jim White
37 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
JJ
12
Margo Price
35 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
 
11
Mark Martyre
35 pts.
Rivers
Independent
MF
13
Mavis Staples
32 pts.
If All I Was Was Black
Anti
HO
 
Peter Oren
32 pts.
Anthropocene
Western Vinyl
RB,HB
15
Fred Wickham
29 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
 
16
Jeffrey Martin
27 pts.
One Go Around
Fluff & Gravy Records
HDB
17
Blitzen Trapper
25 pts.
Wild and Reckless
Lojinx
JDO
 
Jeff Crosby
25 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records
FCE,FC,JS
19
Dori Freeman
24 pts.
Letters Never Read
Blue Hens Music
 
 
Hardpan
24 pts.
Hardpan
Blue Rose Records
WR
21
The Deep Dark Woods
21 pts.
Yarrow
Six Shooter
JF
22
Lilly Hiatt
20 pts.
Trinity Lane
New West
TJ
 
Tom Russell
20 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
JAB
24
Eilen Jewell
19 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
MW
25
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
FS

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