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Thread: The Secret Sisters You Don’t Own Me Anymore

  1. #1
    Insane Carrie Fan lizcarlo's Avatar
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    Jul 2013

    The Secret Sisters You Don’t Own Me Anymore

    The Harmonies Run Deep In The Secret Sisters' 'Tennessee River Runs Low' : NPR

    People who've never visited the state of Alabama often don't believe it could cast a spell. To many Northerners and coastal types, and even folks from elsewhere in the South, this state deep in the region represents troubling histories and a present that hasn't caught up with the rest of America. Certainly, Alabama must bear its burdens. But it's also a place where people can make magic in hidden corners of the state's vast forest, along the paths forged by its rivers; where nobody gets in your business; and where, if you're an artist, you can meld the old ways with new visions to create beauty that can challenge anyone's presumptions.

    The Secret Sisters, who developed their enchanting harmonies singing country and church music in their home town of Muscle Shoals, brought Alabama's humid sense of wonder to the world in two albums blending Southern gospel, bluegrass, barbershop and swing influences, all with a contemporary, poetic twist. Fans ranging from their mentor T-Bone Burnett to Bob Dylan, with whom the duo toured, loved what Laura and Lydia Rogers did. But as often happens in the music biz, when the sisters' sound didn't translate to a mass audience, they lost their record deal. Both settled back into Alabama life — Laura near where the women grew up, Lydia in Birmingham — and contemplated an uncertain musical future.

    Yet The Secret Sisters had captured the heart of another semi-rural music-maker: Brandi Carlile, who along with her collaborators, twins Tim and Phil Hanseroth, offered to produce their new album — something Carlile and the Twins had never done for another artist. The sisters decamped to the Pacific Northwest, where Washington's own wet forests inspired a set of songs both reflective of tradition and deeply personal. You Don't Own Me Anymore will be released June 9 by New West.

    One song epitomizing this album is "Tennessee River Runs Low," a close-harmony delight that celebrates the mighty, sometimes muddy flow of the waterway running through North Alabama. "I bury secrets deep, I keep them down where the catfish creep," the Rogers siblings croon, their lyrics evoking both the geography and the spirit of the place that made them.

    For the video, the Rogers sisters celebrate another Alabama magic-maker: artist Butch Anthony, whose Museum of Wonder in Seale, Ala., is a repository of freakish, runic and hilarious stuff. For years, Anthony staged the Alabama version of Burning Man, known as the Doo-Nanny; in this video, he holds a festival for one young girl, who represents the renewed spirit of the Rogers sisters. Also making a cameo is Anthony's compatriot, John Henry Toney. These folk artists are as crucial to the soul of Alabama as is anyone who fulfills more unsavory (and currently prevalent) stereotypes. So is the sound of The Secret Sisters, running true like a river current, soaring like the eagles who fly above their nestled homes.

    I am so excited. Love their music. Amazing song. Harmonies are so good. The cd comes out June 9th.
    Farawayhills likes this.

  • #2
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    I think it's worth reviving this thread, as the album has been out for nine months, and was Grammy nominated, and I hope some who don't know it might want to give it a listen.

    The sisters, Laura and Lydia Rogers, are from Muscle Shoals. Their first two albums had strong producers (Dave Cobb, and T Bone Burnett), and earnt them a cult following on the Americana scene, with cuts on compilation albums, including The Hunger Games soundtrack, and Willie Nelson's To All the Girls. However, they failed to get Mainstream recognition, lost their major album deal, faced litigation with a former manager, ran out of funds to tour with supporting musicians, and returned to Alabama.

    Fortunately, their talent was recognized by one of the leading artists of Alt Country - Brandi Carlile - who invited them as supporting artists on her tour, and produced this third album, jointly with her twin guitarists, Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Brandi says that the album title "You Don't Own Me Anymore" reflects their freedom from the major label "machine", and the belief that women artists, in particular, need to take control of their own work, to be free from industry preconceptions. (The album, incidentally, was also mixed by a female engineer, Trina Shoemaker, herself a Grammy winner, and particularly noted for her work with other women artists, including Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, the Indigo Girls and the Dixie Chicks)

    I think this video of another track from the album is interesting - both because it shows how actively Brandi was involved throughout in production, and because I feel that the style of this song could also attract some fans of more Mainstream music:


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