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FYI

Single Servings, Feb. 22, 2022

It’s impossible to condense the rich and extensive catalogue of the late Dallas Good and The Sadies into 10 songs, but if you don’t know the band, I hope this is a place to start. There will never be another band like them, and they leave a legacy that deserves to be recognized by the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Single Servings, Feb. 22, 2022

By Jason Schneider

Last Friday, I and so many others woke up to the terrible news that Dallas Good of The Sadies had died. He was a friend and a musician I admired as much as any I’ve been fortunate to know. With his encyclopedic knowledge about nearly every genre of music, Dallas dedicated his life toward making The Sadies—the band he led with his brother Travis, along with Sean Dean and Mike Belitsky—the best they could be. Just a cursory glance at their catalogue shows he succeeded, pushing them from their early days of playing blinding surf-rock-inspired instrumentals and punked-up country covers, to their most recent work that reached previously untold heights of psychedelic majesty.


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And that’s not to mention their countless collaborations with everyone from Neil Young and Buffy Sainte-Marie to Andre Williams, Neko Case and Gord Downie. Coming to grips with Dallas’ passing is even harder since The Sadies were poised to release a new album, which we’ve been previewing in this space for the past several weeks. Getting to hear it in full is sure to be a heartbreaking experience.

It’s impossible to condense all of this into 10 songs, but if you don’t know The Sadies, I hope this is a place to start. There will never be another band like them, and they leave a legacy that deserves to be recognized by the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

 

The Sadies – Little Sadie

Release Date: 1997

Label: Bloodshot Records

The Sadies took their name from this ancient murder ballad, which has appeared in many forms over the past century. Their version demonstrated not only their connection to the deepest reservoir of North American music but their effortless way of transforming it. As their signature song, Little Sadie was played at every one of The Sadies’ hundreds of gigs.

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Andre Williams & The Sadies – Pardon Me (I’ve Got Someone To Kill)

Release Date: 1999

Label: Bloodshot Records

The Sadies’ first major collaboration was an unlikely one with the notorious Detroit soul singer Andre Williams, best known for the ‘60s hits Bacon Fat and Shake A Tail Feather. Nonetheless, his wild spirit gelled perfectly with The Sadies’ raw approach to country, making their first album together, Red Dirt, a master class in attitude.

The Sadies – The Story’s Often Told

Release Date: 2001

Label: Outside Music

The album Stories Often Told was a turning point for The Sadies, due in many ways to their strengthening bond with Blue Rodeo. The songwriting started becoming more expansive, as Dallas grew ever more confident fronting the band.

The Unintended – The Light

Release Date: 2003

Label: Blue Fog

Dallas’ close friendships with Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor and Eric’s Trip’s Rick White led to this one-off project that merged all three of their approaches to psychedelic rock and acid folk. Tying it together is a truly haunting “Canadian gothic” sensibility, making the eponymous album a unique entry into the CanRock canon.

Neko Case – The Tigers Have Spoken

Release Date: 2004

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Label: Anti-Records

The Sadies received their first exposure backing up Neko Case on tour in support of her debut solo album The Virginian. They reunited in 2004 for a run of shows that produced Case’s The Tigers Have Spoken, which included joyous covers of Loretta Lynn, The Shangri-Las, along with the jangly title track she and band wrote together, and whose theme echoed The Sadies’ own live staple, Tiger Tiger.

Neil Young & The Sadies – This Wheel’s On Fire

Release Date: 2010

Label: Curve Music

Recorded for the Garth Hudson-curated album A Canadian Celebration Of The Band, this was a dream come true not only for The Sadies but for all of us as fans. Neil seemed pleased with the results as well, leading him to invite The Sadies to join him on the Canadian leg of his 2012 Alchemy tour with Crazy Horse.

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The Sadies – We Are Circling (feat. Buffy Sainte-Marie)

Release Date: 2013

Label: Outside Music

The Sadies’ album Internal Sounds was another creative step forward, finding them moving on from their traditional country influences into a more full-blown psychedelic onslaught, with Dallas handling production duties for the first time. It was a stroke of genius, then, to invite one of Canada’s sonic innovators, Buffy Sainte-Marie, to collaborate on the album’s closer, We Are Circling, which in the process helped fuel Buffy’s introduction to a new generation.

Gord Downie, The Sadies And The Conquering Sun – Crater

Release Date: 2014

Label: Arts & Crafts

This meeting of CanRock titans easily lived up its billing, with Downie, in particular, sounding more energized than he had in years. The Sadies seemed to have that magic touch with everyone they worked with. While only one album came out of this collaboration, there are rumours of more unreleased material that will hopefully see the light someday.

The Sadies – The Good Years

Release Date: 2017

Label: Outside Music

The band’s last studio album, Northern Passages—despite being known for the Kurt Vile-aided single It’s Easy (Like Walking)—really showed Dallas’ songwriting blossoming. It contained arguably his most consistent amount of original material to that point, highlighted by The Good Years, a tragic portrait of a widow taking stock of her relationship with a man she suddenly realizes she didn’t know at all.

The Good Family – Life Passes (And Old Fires Die)

Release Date: 2013

Label: Latent Recordings

No matter how far out The Sadies got, they never severed ties to their family’s musical roots, which made 2013’s The Good Family Album such a treat. Recorded with Dallas and Travis’ parents Bruce and Margaret Good, along with other family members, it’s a tribute to one of Canada’s great musical stories, with this song, in particular, serving now as a bittersweet coda.

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