The brainchild of Canadian brothers Dallas and Travis Good, the Sadies are typical of the Bloodshot Records roster. The band members hold citizenship in a number of other working bands, and they present familiar themes in unfamiliar ways. Dallas Good continues to explore surf-like tones with his previous project, Phonocomb, while twisting the idea of spaghetti Western soundtracks and spy movie instrumentals into the honkabilly universe of the Sadies. Travis Good still occasionally tunes up with the family business, Juno-winning country legends the Good Brothers, while bassist Sean Dean works with Atomic Seven, and drummer Mike Belitsky plays with the Vees (with former members of Jale), when he's not banging the skins with the Pernice Brothers.
The Sadies' catalog to date is a crazy quilt of nontraditional music. The band's bluethrash debut, 1998's Precious Moments, offered both country twang and a punk attitude and, with musical iconoclast Steve Albini (Nirvana, Bush, PJ Harvey) at the helm, ensured that no one would mistake the Sadies for the Statler Brothers. The next album, Red Dirt, a brilliant collaboration with soul shouter Andre Williams, was an accident -- a session that turned into an entire album because of a freak blizzard that stranded the Sadies and Williams in the studio for a week. The Sadies' most recent album, last year's Pure Diamond Gold, is essentially a pair of short albums jammed together on a single disc, with half of the material recorded on 8-track by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet drummer Don Pyle, the remainder on 24-track by Albini. The songs veer madly between hypertraditional country expressions, surf guitar homages, and experimental mutations of the two with sprinklings of bluegrass and gospel. The Sadies are yet another example of what is generally right about alternative country's hybridization.