Music is a family affair for the Sadies

By Ryan Pike

Back in the days of yore, whatever career the father had was the career his sons were destined for. Blacksmiths raised blacksmiths, carpenters raised carpenters and chimney sweeps raised chimney sweeps. In recent years, though, the trend has reversed. Many youngsters have rejected the ways of their parents, prompting many rebellious lads and lasses to join the Peace Corps, travel the world or become writers.

It’s pretty strange in recent times to see children following in their parents’ footsteps. But that’s just what Dallas and Travis Good of the Sadies have done. The duo are sons of Bruce Good of the legendary folk music group the Good Brothers. Dallas explains the mid-’90s origin of the band.

“Sean [Dean] was the first person that I gravitated towards with the Sadies,” explains Dallas. “He and I had a mutual love for Paul Perkins and lots of punk rock stuff, so we started the band. We had a few different drummers at the beginning of our career. And with Travis came Mike [Belitsky].”

Despite growing up in a household full of musicality, Dallas downplays the role of their parents in their choice to be performers. He does acknowledge that having a musician father had its advantages.

“Our parents while being very musical, we didn’t jam together as kids,” notes Dallas. “We weren’t taught the same songs, but we had access to lots of good music. They were also very liberal, so we were able to pursue our own personal tastes as young people.”

The Sadies shared the stage with the Good Brothers as part of a workshop at this year’s Calgary Folk Music Festival. Travis notes that while both groups play similar genres of music, their similarity to their father’s sound lies elsewhere.

“I’m using his amps and stuff,” jokes Travis. “That’s the most similar thing in the songs, it’s the actual gear itself. It’s a huge component of what our sound is.”

Dallas recounts discussing musical influences with his father on occasion. He was refreshed to learn that both had similar tastes, including a love of the Byrds. He notes that just because the Sadies are influenced by the Byrds, doesn’t necessarily mean they sound alike.

“We always get lumped in with the Byrds and stuff because of country-rock,” shares Dallas. “They run the gamut as they do old-time country as well as far-out stuff, but it’s pretty much like the lowest common denominator in comparison of both parties. It’s nice to be lumped in [with them], but it’s possibly misleading. It was very refreshing to hear my dad say that, since we had similar influences. The Sadies started out as a lowest common denominator of Black Flag and Paul Perkins.”

The Sadies recently appeared on the Tragically Hip’s World Container tour and join the Hip on their trip to Newfoundland in September. Dallas is grateful for the opportunity given to the group by the Hip, as well as the warm reception from crowds across the country.

“I was horrified with [what] the potential of the audience was going to be,” admits Dallas. “But they treated us great every night. Nobody knew us from a hole in the head going up on stage with the Hip, but the Hip believed in us, the Hip gave us an opportunity and we… I’m not going to say we won people over, but we were very well received every night that I can recall.”

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