Finally Friday At Home: Sophie & The Broken Things And Sad Daddy
After a joyful return to (periodic) live Finally Friday shows last week at the Eastside Bowl Wash, our artist series resets this week to the cozy confines of home studios and remote stages with a fascinating pair of artists with impactful new releases. Sad Daddy brings raw and real country music in an old-time vein, while Sophie Gault leads her band The Broken Things with an attention-grabbing voice and a lot to say.
Sad Daddy features Melissa Carper on bass, she of the impressive 2021 solo album Daddy’s Country Gold. I don’t know if it’s the same Daddy or not, but this rollicking ensemble began when Carper met guitarist and harmonica player Brian Martin at shows in 2010. They assembled a trio that toured around Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana. Later they added Rebecca Patek, Carper’s partner in the duo Buffalo Gals. And all along, Sad Daddy has been one semi-regular project for all of the artists involved.
We need hearty, earthy and unfussy roots music like we hear on their January album Way Up In The Hills. They offer yearning old-time ballads, stomping roots country and some hand clapping gospel as they sing about life’s simple gifts, such as “Bacon” and the fingerpicked “Sunday Evening,” as well as its blues as in the melancholy “Cold Rain.” Recorded in Martin’s cabin in Greers Ferry, AR, it’s as honest a roots performance as you could ask for, and we expect the same when they go live at noon.
My first impression of Sophie Gault was a streaming promo album last fall, and it only took a minute into her opening track “Golden Rule” to know I was hearing a special new voice. Gault has a gripping, emotional country vibrato that calls to mind Lucinda Williams, Kelly Willis and Kelsey Waldon. Her band name is derived from the songs of Julie Miller, so that offers another point of reference. “Golden Rule” hasn’t been released yet, but check out the single “Trouble,” a yearning duet with Logan Ledger that can stand proudly next to the great Nashville duos of the 60s and 70s. In a 2020s Americana landscape where timeless country sounds are more the exception than the rule, Sophie’s new Delusions of Grandeur album arrives like a refreshing wave.
Our own Ana Lee spoke with Sophie in January and got her take on the record’s inception here in town: “We’ve been waiting almost two years to release it, so we are so ready to share it with everyone! During the tracking at Ryon Westover’s Grey Gardens studio, we all just had fun tossing ideas back and forth. It was a good distraction from everything going on at that time - June of 2020. We exchanged lots of excited glances as we were listening back in the control room. The chemistry was great.” And the final dashes of sonic sauce came from roots star mixing engineer/producer Ray Kennedy. His take: "Sophie’s songs have a cozy familiarity with a feeling reminiscent of some of my favorite records from the ’70s: timeless yet new, with an emotional delivery I don’t hear in other contemporary records.”
Finally Friday goes live as always at noon at WMOT.org.