Personnel: Ross Bellenoir (vocals, guitar, baritone guitar); Jesse Milnes (vocals, acoustic guitar, baritone guitar, fiddle); Emily Miller (vocals, fiddle); Stefan Amidon (vocals, drums); Zara Bode (vocals); Sam Kassirer (keyboards); Joseph DeJarnette (upright bass).
Audio Mixer: Eric Merrill.
Recording information: Northern Track Recording Studio, Wilmington, VT.
For their second recording, the Sweetback Sisters continue to mine the roots of country cowgirl Americana … la Bob Wills with their own stamp of sweet harmony vocals and distinctive music that rodeo hearts can easily love. Zara Bode and Emily Miller are the unrelated sisters, joined by a love of classic Texas swing from the '40s tacked onto modern cautionary tales of cheatin' hearts and wanderlust. Recording in that mythical rural hotbed of Wilmington, VT, the Sweetbacks have a good idea of how it used to be in better days, despite having not really lived in a bygone era, and are convincing in that down-home recapitulation. They throw a little reggae into the mix of Miller's lone original, the unusually titled "My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died," and put on "my best dress to walk out on you" during "Red Shoes Blues." Expertly covering the Wills lost-love evergreen "Feeling Bad," they also take the ballad/blues of Buck Owens' "It Don't Show on Me" to heart. While not soaring or overly cute, the Sisters' harmony vocals probe the depths of the spirit without shattering preconceptions, yet in their own way they sound unique. Playing the jaundiced skeptic to the hilt, they state on "They Say Virginia Is for Lovers" that they simply don't believe it. This delightful recording is short and to the point, and right up the alley of folkies or country purists, as the Sweetback Sisters push all the right buttons, gassed up and ready to move on. ~ Michael G. Nastos