From The Desk Of The Secret Sisters: Rick Bragg

Laura and Lydia Rogers came from a musical family but neither had seriously considered a career in music until Laura traveled to Nashville for an open audition, where she caught the ear of industry execs and producers. Asked to return for a follow-up, Laura brought Lydia along. Shortly thereafter, the Secret Sisters were on a plane to L.A. to record demos for their 2010 self-titled debut on Universal, produced by T Bone Burnett. Sophomore effort Put Your Needle Down followed in 2014. In the interim they toured with Bob Dylan and recorded with Jack White. Put Your Needle Down, a respectable album on the slick country-revival model, garnered uneven reviews. Then the Secret Sisters were dropped by their label, but they didn’t stop writing. The new You Don’t Own Me Anymore‘s cheeky title obliquely recalls the Secret Sisters’ major-label woes—as does much of the lyrical content—but the album (on New West) as a whole fits into a long tradition of country statements about survival past deep damage. Laura and Lydia will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week, Read our new feature on them.

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Laura and Lydia: One of our favorite current authors is an Alabama native named Rick Bragg. His writing voice and vivid storytelling pull on our heartstrings every time, especially because he mostly writes about the life of his family in rural Alabama. His work resonates with us because it is familiar, and we believe his writing is an important documentation of life in the quieter, stranger parts of our beloved home state. Bragg’s writing is personal and pointed and honest, and certain passages in his books take our breath away. He is able to put into beautiful words what we so often feel about our place in this world. Here’s one of our favorite examples of his prowess: “I wonder if, north of here, they might even run out of stories someday. It may seem silly, but it is cold up there, too cold to mosey, to piddle, to loafer, and summer only lasts a week and a half. The people spit the words out so fast when they talk, like they are trying to discard them somehow, banish them, rather than relish the sound and the story. We will not run out of them here. We talk like we are tasting something.”

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