From my first listen, I knew that someday it would be the song I’d use to say goodbye to my Mamaw, one of my best friends. Mamaw, honestly, lived a pretty charmed adult life until my grandfather died in 1990. It shattered her (and most of my family). Nothing was the same for her and each day was filled with an ache to return to his side. In early 2015, I’d spend one long night sitting by her hospice bed, singing all her favorite songs as she slowly drifted away.
There were plenty of Gospel tracks, plus the likes of Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and The Andrews Sisters. But The Secret Sisters continued to find their way back into the loop. I knew she’d love their harmonies and their vintage tone, and I knew that (for her anyway) tomorrow would be kinder. For a short time afterward, it hurt to listen to any of those songs. The harmonies made me miss my best friend. But it was those harmonies that drew me back in.
As it turned out, tomorrow wasn’t particularly kind to The Secret Sisters, Laura and Lydia Rogers. Despite the bump in clout thanks to Hunger Games, the duo’s sophomore release, Put Your Needle Down, didn’t fare as well as their label had hoped. They soon found themselves dropped and in the midst of a lawsuit with an ex-manager.
Still, their troubles didn’t last long. By late 2015, they found themselves invited to hit the road with Brandi Carlile. It’s that tour collaboration that led to her offer to produce their next album. With no label and light wallets, The Secret Sisters turned to the internet for help and crowd-funded the album, You Don’t Own Me Anymore, which was released in 2017 and soared past Needle’s sales numbers. Most significantly, though, it found The Secret Sisters garnering some of the love they’ve long deserved by way of a Grammy Nomination for Best Folk Album.
Things still seem to be trending upward for the duo. Most recently, the Sisters were handpicked by John Prine to sing backup vocals on the legend’s “Spotify Singles” session. Earlier this fall, they performed at historic venue The Ryman in Nashville. Now, The Secret Sisters are also touring the country, taking turns opening for Ray LaMontagne and headlining their own shows.
Come sing along. I’ll be there… crying.