Spindle Tree Records

Big Sadie is a bluegrass and country-influenced folk/Americana quartet from the Chicago area fronted by vocalist/bassist Elise Bergman and vocalist/guitarist Collin Moore. Also in the group are banjoist Andy Malloy and fiddler Matt Brown. This is their debut for Spindle Tree Records, but also their first to feature a set of all-original material.

Like many of the bands working in the folk/Americana style, Big Sadie writes predominantly songs of a slower tempo. Of the twelve tracks here, nine are in that category. They’re really good at creating tuneful melodies in that tempo range, and Bergman’s lead vocals work best there as well. The opener “Danny” is a fine example. Its languorous feel and Bergman’s understated yet emotional delivery perfectly match the song’s sad and somewhat complicated tale. It’s a fine song, though a bit long. Also of note is the slow country of “Baby It Ain’t You,” in which the protagonist is searching for a replacement love who’ll light her passion. Again, a good melody and good performance from Bergman. “Next Train Home” has a slow, atmospheric and bluesy swing, and the lilting love song “Only You” is also in a slow swing tempo.

The one exception to the rule that their slow songs are their best songs is the closing track “Keep Me Waiting.” Collin Moore is on the lead for what is a very good mid-tempo number with an engaging melody and great energy. Moore’s guitar solo is excellent. As the closer to a solid record, it sends the listener off in upbeat fashion. (

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