About a 20-minute drive is all that separated The Secret Sisters from being born in historic Muscle Shoals, Alabama, though its sheer proximity to their hometown of Happy Valley practically foretold that Laura and Lydia Rogers were destined for lives as recording and performing artists. With their sophomore album, Put Your Needle Down [Republic Records], The Secret Sisters’ future has never seemed clearer.
Growing up surrounded by the sounds of the South and the powerful timeless music emanating from Muscle Shoals, The Secret Sisters were heavily influenced by a range of uniquely American musical styles, including country, bluegrass and gospel, as well as classic rock and pop. They were raised on a rich tapestry of music, listening to everything from George Jones and Loretta Lynn, to The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The Ramones, Fiona Apple and Rufus Wainwright. But it was their father, a musician himself, who introduced Laura and Lydia to bluegrass at an early age and spent many weekends bringing his daughters to local bluegrass festivals.
While The Secret Sisters’ 2010 eponymous debut was comprised mostly of traditional country songs the sisters grew up loving, although two standouts were Laura and Lydia originals “Tennessee Me” and “Waste The Day.” That album introduced the world to the sisters’ stunning and seemingly magical ability to blend vocals which developed from singing together in church on Sundays and listening to some of the world’s most iconic musicians throughout their upbringing. With that album lauded by critics and adored by their rapidly growing legion of fans, the stage was set for the sisters to advance as artists and further establish themselves as songwriters with Put Your Needle Down. “This record was a long time coming,” said Laura. “Most artists don’t wait three years or so in between records, but we felt it was important to spend a lot of time on our songs and also broaden our sound.”The result is Put Your Needle Down, an eclectic mix of musical styles and sounds rooted in storytelling that showcases their depth and growth as songwriters, vocalists and as women. Put Your Needle Down, titled after a line in the P.J. Harvey song, “The Pocket Knife,” featured on the album, is a tribute to the singers’ deep-rooted affinity for vinyl, and an ode to the assertiveness the two have gained on their journey to maturity since they first began making music.