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You Gotta Hear This: New Music From Sister Sadie, John Leventhal, and More

Jan 26, 2024

You Gotta Hear This: New Music From Sister Sadie, John Leventhal, and More

This week, BGS readers enjoyed a track premiere from California-based string band Moonsville Collective, as well as our very first Rootsy Summer Session featuring an exclusive performance by Israel Nash on the streets of Falkenberg, Sweden. Also, in this week’s edition of Out Now, we highlighted a brand new single from Mary Bragg, too.

Featured in today’s premiere round-up, You Gotta Hear This, is new music from bluegrass supergroup Sister Sadie with their illustrious friend, Ashley McBryde, plus producer, guitarist, musician extraordinaire John Leventhal, Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road, the Grackles featuring Kat Edmonson, and North Carolina bluegrass/Americana outfit Unspoken Tradition.

We hope you enjoy a week’s worth of new music and videos; ’cause You Gotta Hear This!

Sister Sadie, “Ode to the Ozarks” (featuring Ashley McBryde)

Artist: Sister Sadie
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Song: “Ode To The Ozarks” (featuring Ashley McBryde)
Album: No Fear
Release Date: January 26, 2024
Label: Mountain Home Music Company

In Their Words: “This song was originally sent to me by a great songwriter from Nashville that we’re all big fans of, Marcus Hummon. When I heard the demo, I could hear us doing it immediately in my head and sent it around to the band. I thought it would be a great fit for us and had some awesome vocal harmony possibilities. The song was co-written by Ashley McBryde and Kat Higgins, who we’re also big fans of. In the meantime, Dani Flowers had joined Sister Sadie and is very close friends with Ashley. So of course she was an advocate for doing the song as well, and asked Ashley if she would consider singing on it with us in the studio. She graciously agreed and we were so honored to have her join us! We’re grateful to Marcus, Ashley, and Kat for entrusting us to give it the right treatment. It has a very ‘swampy’ feel and is such a FUN song to perform live. We got to perform this song on the Grand Ole Opry with Ashley and that was such a special memory for us all! Hope you love it as much as we do.” – Gena Britt, banjo

“I am so happy with the way ‘Ode To The Ozarks’ turned out. It ended up so funky and dirty with the stellar musicianship of Seth Taylor, Tristan Scroggins, and Tony Creasman added to the Sadie girls. We are so honored that Ashley McBryde agreed to sing on this one with us. The icing on the cake!” – Deanie Richardson, fiddle

John Leventhal, “That’s All I Know About Arkansas” (featuring Rosanne Cash)

Artist: John Leventhal
Hometown: New York, New York
Song: “That’s All I Know About Arkansas” (featuring Rosanne Cash)
Album: Rumble Strip
Release Date: January 26, 2024
Label: RumbleStrip Records

In Their Words: “Rosanne had these lyrics. I wasn’t sure what they were actually about, but I loved them and they seemed to fit with a weird West African-bluegrass riff I had. There are two distinct guitar solos, each a tip of the hat to two musicians to whom I owe a debt: Ry Cooder and Clarence White.” – John Leventhal

Grackles, “Top Of The World” (featuring Kat Edmonson)

Artist: Grackles
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Song: “Top Of The World” featuring Kat Edmonson
Album: Grackles
Release Date: February 24, 2024 (album)

In Their Words: “‘Top Of The World’ was a beautiful chord structure Jason [Mozersky] had, that we all sat and strummed together on acoustic guitars live in the studio with upright bass and brushes on the drums. It instantly felt so warm and welcoming. I knew I wanted to sing it way lower than normal, so got Kat Edmonson to sing the melody with me. Sort of a Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra vibe. Lyrically, it’s pretty straight forward. It’s such a short, honest piece, I really tried hard not to let the words get in the way. I’m happily married and with a beautiful daughter and find my own life to be pretty damn great. Meanwhile the world around me crumbles. We bounce from one shit storm to the next, and try desperately to keep it together.” – Noah Lit

Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road, “Homesick For Virginia”

Artist: Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road
Hometown: Deep Gap, North Carolina
Song: “Homesick For Virginia”
Album: Yellow Line
Release Date: January 26, 2024
Label: Pinecastle Records

In Their Words:“This song (penned by Colton Kerchner) is a story of misadventure and longing for home. Though the song is straightforward and wrapped in a 3/4 bluegrass power waltz, I felt like a lot of folks could relate to the message behind it. Being young, 20-something musicians out there on the road, home is always on our minds along with our friends and family, who we frequently miss. This is one of the more traditional tunes on the album, and I thought the guys really knocked it out of the park with the feel of that old Stanley-inspired sound.” – Liam Purcell

Unspoken Tradition, “Weary Town”

Artist: Unspoken Tradition
Hometown: Cherryville, North Carolina
Song: “Weary Town”
Release Date: January 26, 2024
Label: Mountain Home Music Company

In Their Words: “Our hometown was a great place to grow up. It thrived for decades because of a trucking company founded by some of its citizens. Many locals found work there; it was almost analogous to a mining town. That trucking company was bought by a larger corporation that ultimately closed the terminal, and the town became a shell of its former self in a matter of a few years. It hurts in a way only bittersweet nostalgia can, to know that the town where I made so many memories exists in name only. When John Cloyd Miller sent us this one, it just ripped at my heart, because it makes the struggle and loss of a fading town so real. ‘What’s it gonna take for us to hold on?’ Iris Dement couldn’t have written a better love letter to a fading town!” – Audie McGinnis

Israel Nash, “Lost In America” (Rootsy Summer Sessions)

Last summer, in picturesque Falkenberg, Sweden, Rootsy Music held Summer Fest ’23, a gathering of twenty-some Americana, country, folk, and roots bands – many imported all the way from the United States. BGS video collaborators and contributors I Know We Should were there; they curated, directed, and shot a series of gorgeous live performances in and around the festival and scenic Falkenberg.

The first in the series features Israel Nash – a Rootsy artist, as well as a frequenter of Rootsy stages and festivals – performing an original song, “Lost in America.”

Read more here.

Moonsville Collective, “Helen Highway”

Artist: Moonsville Collective
Hometown: Whittier, California
Song: “Helen Highway”
Album: A Hundred Highways

In Their Words: “Friendships are often forged on some highway to nowhere. We left Pappy & Harriet’s, said goodbye to our wives, and drove across the country chasing the rookie leagues…” – Corey Adams

More here.

Mary Bragg, “Only So Much You Can Do”

Artist: Mary Bragg
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Song: “Only So Much You Can Do”
Release Date: January 23, 2024

In Their Words: ‘Only So Much You Can Do’ is about chasing joy in the company of another person. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about that New York Times article about the secret to happiness – and how relationships are the key to it. We are pack people; we need each other; we need other human beings around us in order to be our best, happiest selves. Friends plus community plus honesty equals joy…” – Mary Bragg

Read the full Out Now interview here.

Photo Credit: Sister Sadie by Eric Ahlgrim; John Leventhal by Wes Bender.

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You Gotta Hear This: New Music From Sister Sadie, John Leventhal, and More
You Gotta Hear This: New Music From Sister Sadie, John Leventhal, and More