The Secret Sisters – Put Your Needle Down (Rating 4 out of 5)

secretsistersMixing things up just a bit from their O Brother Americana twist on Folk music, the Secret Sisters, Lydia and Laura Rogers, have stepped up their game big time with their latest gem, Put Your Needle Down.

If the Everly Brothers were girls, this is what they would sound like. Much like their previous record, the atmospheric T-Bone Burnett produced Secret Sisters released in 2011, the template is to emphasize the picture perfect sibling harmonies with the front porch appeal of a guitar pull on a spring day. This time out, however the influences seem to fast forward from a 40’s and 50’s almost Andrews Sisters sort of vibe to more of an Emmy Lou circa Wrecking Ball sound with the guitars turned up a little bit more with Burnett, once more at the knob twirling helm, turning up the fun factor by adding a bit more Rock to the Folk-Rock mix.

The opener, “Rattle my Bones” does just that while the flag is firmly planted in the ground signalling good times ahead. The songwriting has definitely improved over the years, with “Luka,” a story song about a fathers reaction to an abusive relationship as a sterling example, and “Good Luck, Goodnight, Goodbye” holding up as one of the best songs of the lot:

“I know it’s not a perfect world, but tonight I’m the perfect girl, I had a man but he just lied, good luck, goodnight goodbye/You think I need some company you’re sitting awful close to me, you’re getting cozy and your making eyes good luck, goodnight, goodbye.”

One of the more interesting songs on the set is “Dirty Lie,” a song partially written by Bob Dylan previously released only as a demo, and was included here with some by permission finishing touches added to give the tune a St. James Infirmary feel. “Lonely Island” has the most Everly Brothers sounding vibe to it, and could have been released in the sixties, or even the fifties.

Adding a little diversity to their sound should serve the sisters well over the long haul, in the meantime this is one of the finest slices of Americana Pie you will enjoy all year.