Toronto roots rockers The Sadies new album on the way, play Massey Hall Feb. 2
L–R: The Sadies are Sean Dean, Travis Good, Dallas Good and Mike Belitsky
“Think Big Pink for the suburbs,” says Dallas Good, when talking about the Sadies’ decision to hole up in his and his brother Travis’s childhood home to record their new album, Northern Passages, out Feb. 10 on Dine Alone Records.
As Dallas says, “You can’t beat the catering.”
By setting up shop back at their childhood home, the band members had the luxury of time, and although they initially went there to rehearse and work up demos for an eventual visit to a studio, it all clicked, and they decided to do the entire album.
“Within our world, our budget hasn’t allowed us a lot of freedom,” Dallas explains.
“Every record has been teaching us that time is good. We made our first couple records as fast as we could record them.”
This time, they worked away at Northern Passages whenever they had a break from their always gruelling tour schedule, beginning back in 2015. And as a result, the record has a groovy, laid-back vibe that works in perfect harmony with the band’s infectious blend of roots and rock music.
“It was a laid-back feel going into it in every way,” Dallas says. “The last record we made was three years ago, and then we made one with Gord Downie after that, so we’ve had a little bit more of an incubation period this time around, which has been great.”
Moving home also gave the band access to all kinds of gear and instruments that have been stored there over the years, as well as some of the Goods’ parents’ instruments and equipment, including their mom’s guitar.
“One of the cool surprises was that my mom’s acoustic guitar is a thousand times better than mine or my brother’s arsenal of guitars,” says Dallas.
And that wasn’t Mom’s only contribution. She also sings on a couple tracks, which is a common occurrence on most of the Sadies’ 10 albums.
Despite being the official locale for whenever the extended family gets together to rehearse, it isn’t exactly a luxurious nook, according to Dallas.
“My parents’ basement is completely unfinished,” he explains. “We were moving cross-country ski poles and ping-pong tables to set up the drums and stuff. It was very rustic.”
It’s the same basement where Dallas practised with his first punk bands in high school.
More than 20 years ago, at the venerable Cameron House on Queen Street West, the Sadies took to the stage for the first time, fronted by brothers Dallas and Travis Good, the offspring of a family of musicians centred on longtime country group the Good Brothers.
Since then, the Sadies have gone on to become one of the country’s most enduring roots bands, producing a slew of notable albums and collaborating with everyone from Garth Hudson and Andre Williams to Buffy Sainte Marie and Neko Case.
On Feb. 2, the band plays with Blue Rodeo at Massey Hall.