Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Last few years has seen a plethora of female badasses singing country – from Lydia Loveless to Margo Price, Nikki Lane to Aubrie Sellers – and lord knows that’s a welcome relief from the auto-tuned pablum of “bro-country” and its wretched ilk. So now from Bloodshot Records we can add Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, and she might the biggest badass of them all.
Sidelong is a reissue of their 2015 album, and hopefully Bloodshot can put her no bullshit brand of revved-up country in front of more listeners, because this is a firecracker of an album. Shook looks like a pissed off smoking Jodie Foster on the cover, and the 12 cuts within, ranging from the blistering “The Nail” to the woebegone weeper “Dwight Yoakam” and the bouncy “Solitary Confinement” show an artist who’s fond of whiskey…and not particularly fond of the last person that left her high and dry. Shook’s voice – which varies between a warbling yelp to a defiant snarl hooks you from the opening moments of “Keep the Home Fires Burnin'” to the final “Road That Leads to You”, and you’ll be mesmerized at all points in between.
The Disarmers – Jason Hedrick on upright bass, John Howie, Jr on drums, Phil Sullivan on excellent pedal steel along with guitarist Eric Peterson (who was with Shook in her first band “Sarah Shook & the Devil”) sound a bit like a more hard-edged Old 97s or more traditional Waco Brothers, or perhaps those great Carlene Carter records with Rockpile. You’re gonna hear a lot more from Sarah Shook, you can count on it.