Things don’t always go according to plan. For award-winning bluegrass quintet Sister Sadie, that’s a good thing.
Back in December of 2012, Deanie Richardson (fiddle) and Gena Britt (banjo and vocals) took the stage at the Station Inn in Nashville just to have a good time playing music together.
Over a decade later, the duo—along with new members Jaelee Roberts (guitar and vocals), Dani Flowers (guitar and vocals), and Maddie Dalton (acoustic bass and vocals)—has taken the bluegrass and roots world by storm, with their latest example being their brand new and powerfully beautiful single, “Willow.”
The track, which was written by modern country powerhouse Ashley McBryde, opens with captivating, energetic fiddle and banjo rhythms, propelling itself forward note by note. The audience is pulled into the magnetic melodies right away, and when Roberts begins to sing, the song transforms from an impressive bluegrass tune to a resounding musical experience.
Through lines packed with imagery and mystique like, “I know what makes the sunshine / Give into the moonlight / I know what makes the midnight blue / Ooo, they must have loved you too,” the group brings McBryde’s beautiful words to life in a way few others could.
As with previous hit singles, “Willow” carries the band’s same signature vibe in that it beautifully captures the individual talents of each member of the group. It also features guest performers Tristan Scroggins on mandolin, Seth Taylor on guitar, and Tony Creasman on drums.
“When I first heard ‘Willow’, I could hear us doing it,” says Richardson. “I could hear Jaelee slaying this tune vocally. I could hear this funky groove that came to life in the studio. It’s got a deep pocket and has been a crowd favorite on tour this summer. This Ashley McBryde-penned tune has become one of my favorite Sadie songs EVER!”
And the sentiment was returned from McBryde.
“Sister Sadie is the best thing that ever happened to this song,” she says. “I wrote it on an afternoon where damn near everything was going wrong. Deanie and the girls tore it UP and gave it the best life a song can have! Jaelee Roberts’ voice could sing somebody back to life, I swear.”
After debuting at the Grand Ole Opry and being nominated for a handful of IBMA awards (Vocal Group of the Year and Song of the Year this year for their single, “Diane”) along with a GRAMMY nomination (Best Bluegrass Album in 2019), Sister Sadie has seen their share of successes, and that path keeps widening with the release of “Willow.”