Muscle Shoals siblings emerge from label breakup with best record yet
Following in the legacy of acts like the Carter Family and the Louvin Brothers, the voices of siblings Lydia and Laura Rogers — the Secret Sisters — fuse and complement each other in a way that only seems possible with shared bloodlines. The Muscle Shoals, Alabama-based duo showed promise out of the gate with its self-titled 2010 debut, but many of the songs were classic country covers. And while 2014's Put Your Needle Down allowed the pair to spread its wings a bit more, it's the Rogers sisters' 2017 release, You Don't Own Me Anymore (New West), on which they fully realize their potential.
The new record, which recently garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album, was produced by Brandi Carlile, who told Rolling Stone, “I remember the first time I ever heard them sing, and I literally could not believe that it was happening in real life.” Carlile wisely kept things relatively spare, allowing the sisters' voices — at turns haunting, sweet and fierce — to take center stage.
The Secret Sisters' songwriting incorporates a newfound boldness, too. When Lydia and Laura pointedly sing about the industry folks who wronged them (“Go do your damage to somebody new”), you can almost imagine their former label cowering in a corner. (Safe bet)