The Secret Sisters - Wabash Cannonball - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

The Secret Sisters - Wabash Cannonball

by James Bray Rating:8 Release Date:2010-11-17

The Secret Sisters are an indie-country duo from the US made up of Laura and Lydia Rogers, two sisters who hail from a musical family in Alabama. Their version of folk song 'Wabash Cannonball' really confounds expectations of what constitutes country music. The song sounds very different from anything I've heard before. At first you could be forgiven for thinking that it was a Dixie Chicks pastiche. There are banjos, slide guitars, trumpets, and train-track rhythms which are all combined to give an effect that I could only describe as Nashville steampunk.

This song sounds like it comes from an era that never that never existed. The reason why these two tracks are so evocative partly comes down to the excellent production; the venerable T-Bone Burnett worked on the album. When the vocals do arrive on 'Wabash Cannonball', they're like a kind of effervescent, country burlesque with the two sisters singing very sweetly and quickly as they keep up with the steam-powered rhythms.

The b-side is an unhinged rock cover of Johnny Cash's song 'Big River'. Their audacious version works really well and is quite a divergence from the first song. Overall, this single is like a retro-futuristic take on roots music which is really quite original and charming. Even though both of these songs are covers, the single is still a great example of The Secret Sisters' unique style.

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