The Sadies team with Gord Downie
By FISH GRIWKOWSKY – Sun Media
Given the Sadies secret status as one of the worlds wickedest bands – country, rock or otherwise – it was vaguely surprising to find them unscheduled on the mainstage at Folk Fest double-oh-eight.
But shucks – its just as easy not to complain right?, given their time among us has been subsequently partitioned throughout the weekend – including a gratifying whopper Canadiana session tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Stage 1, the eastern border of New Folkland.
The brothers Travis and Dallas Good call from between Canmore and Calgary, intending fully to have pulled up into town last night to sample our party culture once again. Their persistent friendliness has them in some spectacular collaborations coming up, but just read on …
SUN MEDIA: “New Seasons was one of my favourites last year. Can you tell me a little about what Gary Jayhawks Louris brought into the studio? Dudes a pro playa, obviously.”
TRAVIS GOOD: “He helped from the ground up. He helped with the writing, the arranging. Vocally, he really pushed us. He thinks of things Ive never really thought of when I sing. And he was there, looking over our shoulder, reading what we were writing.”
SUN MEDIA: “What would he suggest with your singing?”
TRAVIS: “Oh, to do another take. Laughs hard. In the earlier records, we would do a couple takes and Id say, Well, thats what I sound like. If its squawky, thats my voice. But hed get us to do it 10 times, a bit of a slave-driver, that man. For me the vocals are the hardest thing, so its the first thing I want to abandon … get right to the guitar as quick as I can.”
SUN MEDIA: “Eat your vegetables so you can have dessert.”
TRAVIS: “Yeah, exactly.”
SUN MEDIA: “You guys are obsessive collaborators – is there anything you can let out of the bag coming up youre working on?”
TRAVIS: “Oh, for sure We just did a thing with Garth Hudson and Mary Margaret OHara, a Band tribute record Garths throwing together. All Canadians, hes producing and playing on it. We just finished a country record with John Doe. And weve been chipping away recording with Gord Downie. Like with Gary Louris, weve been talking about how, Wouldnt it be nice if we did something one day? We’ve been in the studio and done some work since. We did a couple songs thatll be on a compilation for the Waterkeeper Foundation.”
SUN MEDIA: “Part of making music together is friendship – you looking forward to hanging out with some musicians at the Folk Fest, onstage, backstage?”
TRAVIS: “Sexsmith should be pretty easy. Weve talked about doing stuff with him, too. So you never know. Laughs. We met Robyn Hitchcock at one of those and it went really good, we ended up recording with him. Same with Jim White. It can go either way, really good or really bad.”
SUN MEDIA: “As long as everyones joining in, its great.”
TRAVIS: “Yeah, I dont like the circle, going around, staring at the sun while a persons doing a solo thing. Not my bag. Hey, you want to talk to Dallas a bit?
SUN MEDIA: “If I have to. Just kidding – yeah. Extended phone rumbling. Dallas, whats the new album looking like?”
DALLAS: “Weve got a bunch of songs weve been working on with Gary, but I dont think well get a chance to revisit them until December. But considering the album that were working on with Gord is going to be original and with an equal amount of input, we dont want to sell anything short there.
“Even though we have three records on the go right now, not including our own or the stuff we did with Neko Case on her upcoming album, I still like to think of everything one project at a time. Last month in particular I was working on four separate projects simultaneously. Ive felt a little overwhelmed lately, because I do all the mixing, too. But Im a bully with that. But whatever. Dont cry for me, Im already dead. I dug my own grave and someday Ill gladly get to lie in it.”
The Sadies play tonight; tomorrow 1 p.m. on Stage 1 and 5 p.m. on Stage 2; finally, 11 a.m. Sunday on Stage 6.