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On a Good night for The Sadies, the only constant is variety

Spaceland, Silver Lake, March 23, 2002

By Dan MacIntosh

SILVER LAKE, CA - The Sadies are like one of those variety boxes of independently bagged potato chips: you need to outline every single one of them if you ever going to describe the whole package. Just when you think you're witnessing guitarist Dallas Good's surf rock revival combo, his brother Travis breaks into a spot-on Johnny Cash inspired vocal, before the band transitions into a spaghetti western instrumental. Variety is about the only constant here.

The Good brothers are backed by a stand up bassist, a drummer and a vibraphone player, and this collective helps give much of Sadies' music a cinematic quality. Many times, the club felt like the set of some long lost western psychedelic freak out film. This is what it must feel like to drop acid with John Wayne.

The Sadies are not strictly a country band, but when Dallas Good picked up a fiddle and led the group through an instrumental, "Locust Eater," or when the band went Willie Nelson with "Stay All Night," there was no need to question their solid country music credentials.

Dallas and Travis Good are both tall gentlemen, and they dressed in matching Gram Parsons-inspired outfits for the show. Dallas' wore a white pants and shirt suit with blue flowers, and Travis' wore the same thing, only his had red flowers. Much like Parsons, these two brothers dearly love their traditional music. But at the same time, they never allow such affection to inhibit their musical inspiration and exploration.

Most songs feature precise arrangements, which draw upon steady rhythms and a duel guitar attack. But the group also isn't afraid to let its hair down, and a few of its songs bashed away like '60s garage rock workouts. Its set list was a lot like an AM radio play list in the late Sixties, back when progressive pop ruled the day.

The Sadies' music is obviously the product of Dallas and Travis' creative minds, and on this particular night, it was all Good.

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