Written by another IBMA award winner, Becky Buller, along with widely admired tunesmith Craig Market, “Well” offers a clever lyric delivered via a classic-sounding melody and archetypal two-chord construction. And while group co-founder Gena Britt has won much attention for her banjo playing, here she reminds listeners that she’s also a commanding singer as she unwinds the complaint of a woman who knows her lover doesn’t want her even as he refuses to tell her goodbye. Verse lyrics ring changes on multiple meanings of the title’s single word, while the chorus employs it as a call-and-response element to hammer the point home. Punctuated with plenty of Britt’s banjo and virtuosic soloing — even bassist Hasee Ciacco gets a moment to shine before the song’s last verse — it’s a masterful performance of a well-crafted song that is, while not without a few surprises, squarely in the bluegrass vein.
“This song was given to the band from an amazingly talented colleague of ours, Becky Buller,” Gena notes. “[Fiddler] Deanie [Richardson] brought it back from another songwriting session she had with Becky and sent it to me, saying she thought this song might fit my style of singing, which is straight ahead bluegrass. She was right — I could hear the arrangement in my head from the very first note. The song lends itself to the thought that sometimes people just don’t have conversations that should probably happen, or don’t make decisions that would make it a lot easier for both parties. As the songwriters, Becky and Craig Market allude to, sometimes people don’t know whether to end a relationship or just keep being miserable. When we went in the studio to cut this song, the energy and creativity was palpable.”
Adds Buller, “Writing with Craig Market is a dazzling experience; he’s one talented cat. With Gena on lead vocals, Sister Sadie musically channels all the frustration our protagonist in ‘Well’ is feeling at her sweetheart’s indecision. I do love me a mean bluegrass song, and Sister Sadie satisfies with this one.”
About Sister Sadie
Sister Sadie, which launched in the wake of an ostensibly one-off show at Nashville’s World Famous Station Inn in 2012, has both embraced and transcended its all-female identity, earning acclaim that includes being named as the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year in 2020, as well as Vocal Group of the Year in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Members range from acclaimed veterans to rising newcomers, who have won individual recognition, too, with founding member and fiddle player Deanie Richardson named as Fiddle Player of the Year in 2020 and banjo player/vocalist Gena Britt — SPBGMA’s reigning Banjo Player of the Year — having participated in three award-winning collaborative projects.The lineup is rounded out by 2021 IBMA Momentum Vocalist of the Year and Mountain Home recording artist Jaelee Roberts (guitar) and in-demand bassist Hasee Ciacco (Molly Tuttle, Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands). The band’s previous release, Sister Sadie II, earned them a GRAMMY nomination for Best Bluegrass Album in 2019.
Deanie Richardson, Gena Britt, Hasee Ciaccio and Jaelee Roberts
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