Haunting, Harmonizing Secret Sisters Posted by: Dan | 0 Comments
Historically, when siblings set aside the inherent differences that come with being siblings and create something together, in this case music, the product is something that makes you think, with them sharing the same bloodline and all, they must be born with it. When Laura and Lydia Rogers sing together, it’s haunting how the result is something so obviously meant to be. If you close your eyes and listen to their tender harmonizing, you could fool yourself into hearing one perfect voice.
Surprisingly, these sisters from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, didn’t set out to become the musical duo known as The Secret Sisters. “We would harmonize together when we were younger, but it never occurred to us that it was ‘special,’ and we certainly never dreamed of making a career out of it,” Laura revealed. While Lydia went to school for business, Laura pursued music, eventually finding herself in Nashville, Tennessee, at an open audition for a group of Los Angeles record executives. When the group expressed interest in Laura and offered to get her into a recording studio, she insisted they hear her sister sing. “That was the moment our duo was born … it was like all of a sudden someone other than our family and friends loved the way we sounded together, and that set the whole thing on fire for us,” Laura said.
The two flew to Los Angeles to start work on their self-titled first album, released in 2010, using a recording process of great significance to the sisters. They recorded using old ribbon microphones and tape machines, sans autotune. “Most of that record was recorded live to tape, which is the way our favorite artists recorded their music many years ago,” Laura said. Most of the tracks, including George Jone’s “Why Baby Why” and a dreamy rendition of Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s “Somethin’ Stupid,” were covers of their vintage and classic country influences, but their songwriting abilities shone with “Waste the Day” and the opening track, “Tennessee Me,” a heart-wrenching song about desperate, pleading love.
For their second album, the forthcoming “Put Your Needle Down,” the sisters showcase more of their own songwriting in a style that branches away from the classic covers of their first album. The duo also incorporated a broader span of their influences, adding rock, soul, blues and gospel to their country foundation. “We wanted to grow up a little bit on this record, so the subject matter is a little darker, but it’s still fun,” Laura said of the new, brave, more tousled material. Part of their evolution included adding a backing band “to really capture the songs in the right way” on stage. The hand-selected group of Arkies and Okies will accompany them on a world tour when the new album is released.
By now, any sister reading this has wondered how after long, stressful hours together on the road the two haven’t ripped out each other’s flawless, pinup girl hair. “[Being sisters is] a blessing and a curse for us. Because we are so close — we are the only two kids in our family — we understand each other very well, but that also means we know how to really sting each other when we are tired, frustrated or homesick,” Laura confessed. “At the end of the day, the good far outweighs the bad, because we can help each other when things get hard, or if we are sad or homesick. Neither of us would want to do this alone, and we are better off together.”
By the time this story published, Willa Dean had listen to “Tennessee Me” approximately 379 times, consecutively. Her heart was so filled with simultaneous love and sadness that it grew three sizes that day. Console her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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