The Good Family – More than Good…
Over the nine years that Gilded Palace of Sin promoted gigs in Brighton, no band created a greater stir than Canada’s magnificent The Sadies. A truly exceptional group of musicians, brothers Travis and Dallas Good, Mike Belitsky and Sean Dean played many memorable and exciting shows for us. Few were more special than the night they performed with Travis/Dallas’ parents, Bruce and Margaret, at Concorde 2.
You see, Bruce is effectively Canadian music royalty, being a member of The Good Brothers and having sold tons of records in his homeland. It was on this tour that the idea for The Good Family Album was born.
Here you get no less than six Goods (all the above plus uncle Larry (also a ‘Good Brother’) and cousin D’Arcy)… I’m pretty sure Mike and Sean are as ‘good’ as family already.
It is admittedly hard to be objective when we have as much love for these guys before the record’s out of the sleeve, but this really is a corking album. Opener ‘Coal Black Hills’ is a fantastic Southern (Canada)/r’n’b romp – like Vinegar Joe jamming with The Allman Brothers. D’Arcy’s gritty vocal is a highlight. The ‘family’ vibe is maintained with just about everyone taking a turn at lead vocals and – when they’re aren’t front and centre – contributing killer harmonies.
It’s definitely a roots (Canadiana?) album, but over the remaining nine tracks they cover every possible base (bluegrass, honky-tonk, waltz, country rock…). Every song features the immaculate, impassioned playing we’ve come to expect from The Sadies and you can see where they learned their chops when Bruce, Larry (banjo) and D’arcy (fiddle) step up.
I almost defy you to listen to this album and not find yourself continually gawping at the quality on display. A high-water mark for North American (not just Canadian) music.
In a word, more than good: stunning. Can’t wait for Vol. 2!