Thursday night’s show at Gasa Gasa was a quaint affair with The Secret Sisters, who are actual sisters from Happy Valley, Alabama. The group’s eponymous debut in 2010 showcased the talents of siblings Lydia and Laura Rogers, who have a fondness for folk and roots country music.
This was the first time the two had played New Orleans, and throughout the evening they had nothing but praise for the city. Oldest sibling Laura served as emcee and storyteller, offering whimsical tales before most songs that made the evening beyond personable. She said, jokingly, that audience members who had come expecting a peppy and happy show would be disappointed. The dark material on last year’s Put Your Needle Down, a turntable reference borrowed from PJ Harvey’s song “The Pocket Knife,” served as the backbone of the duo’s set. The stripped-down nature of the set gave the material an even darker feel.
The covers played were chosen from acts The Secret Sisters admire most, including the Everly Brothers and Patsy Cline. The back stories to their own songs, like “IuKa” and “Dirty Lie,” proved interesting. “Iuka” is a murder ballad about that Mississippi town, while “Dirty Lie” was offered to the band by album producer T-Bone Burnett as an unfinished Bob Dylan track.
The women banter onstage, and sometimes you can’t tell if the snarky moments are genuine or not. But one is pretty sure there is some truth behind the verbal give and take, making the two women all the more real.
The crowd was treated to an amazing encore of “Tonight You Belong to Me,” performed a capella in the midst of the crowd. Laura promised they will return to New Orleans to enjoy all the city’s offering, and professed herself beyond happy to hear the crowd singing along to their songs.
You can see a full gallery of the evening here: http://jalbum.net/a/1639802