Today, with the release of lead single “Charlie Pickle,” roots powerhouse Sad Daddy announces their forthcoming LP, Way Up In The Hills, due out on January 28th. “It’s about a conceptualized character, an ol’ timer named Charlie Pickle,” says Sad Daddy’s Brian Martin. “Charlie’s a man who’s lived it all, seen it all, and done it all. He’s not interested in fitting in or impressing anyone. He just wants to cut loose on a dance floor and let the music take him wherever it’s going to take him.”
Since 2010, Sad Daddy, whose members are based in Arkansas and in Texas, has traveled down many a road–together and separately–at times focusing on their solo projects and then reuniting for a band project. The four members, Brian Martin, Joe Sundell, Rebecca Patek, and Melissa Carper, all conspired and united in the sudden spare time of 2020 to create their third album, Way Up in the Hills.
They all met up at Brian’s cabin in Greers Ferry, Arkansas, and over a couple of bottles of chocolate milk and a few jugs of whiskey they collaborated, writing and arranging songs specifically for the new album. A first for Sad Daddy, they took the brand-new bones of each other’s ideas and worked on them as a band to construct and finish the songs. The collective decided on a down-home, back-to-the-country theme—a reflection on the state of the world and the desire to go back to simpler ways and self-sufficiency, goin’ way up in the hills and letting the chaos settle.
Engineer Jordan Trotter brought his equipment into the cabin and the band recorded 14 original tunes live and in a circle. The feeling of being at a lakeside “home” studio in the serene Arkansas woods was distilled into sound and a genuine relaxed and good time vibe purveys the recordings. Sad Daddy explored using unique sounds, recording stomps on the cabin’s porch, hamboning, using the natural sounds of insects buzzing and bacon sizzling, mouth didgeridoo, handclaps, double clawhammer banjo, and more, along with the foursome’s strong vocals and harmonies.
With a long and dedicated history of making their audiences happy, Sad Daddy is emerging rejuvenated with Way Up in the Hills. With a more down-home and old-timey feel than their previous albums, they all stretched themselves a bit to create a common theme and new songs together. Unique to Sad Daddy, all of the members sing lead and write original tunes–the convergence of influences and interpretation of feeling into sound is a stylistic blend of the very best elements of American Roots Music. From the sounds of early blues, jazz, and jug bands to early country, folk, old-time, bluegrass, soul, and funk, they combine many influences, creating an indefinable genre of their own.