Big Sadie: Keep Me Waiting
Spindle Tree Records – 20 September 2017 (UK)
Hailing from Chicago and fronted by Elise Bergman on upright bass and Collin Moore on guitar, with Andy Malloy on banjo and Matt Brown on fiddle, Big Sadie make their debut with Keep Me Waiting. An album of acoustic folk Americana and bluegrass that tells of everyday experience and emotions, from love and longing to loss and letting go.
Brown’s fiddle leads off album opener Danny, showcasing Bergman’s keening lead vocals and the quartet’s close harmonies. Its unhurried tempo characterises most of what follows, whether on the twangsome Moore-sung walking the floor swayer Before Morning, the Pasty Cline-like honky-tonk Baby It Ain’t You or the slow waltzing Good Woman.
Not that they aren’t adept at picking up the pace. Only You is a lively fiddle-led bluegrass jaunt down across the honky tonk floor, Anni’s Orchard a sprightly banjo and fiddle instrumental reel, Malloy tearing it up on Need Your Love (premiered here on Folk Radio UK) and Next Train Home taking on a bluesy swing rhythm.
It ends on a quickstep too with Moore taking lead and Bergman duetting for Keep Me Waiting, some good time fiddle work and a nimble ragtime guitar solo gliding dancers around the floor. They’re new entrants in a fairly crowded field of old-school American folk revivalism, but on this evidence, they’ll soon be rising to the upper echelons of its ranks.
Photo Credit: Timothy Musho