Written by: Jeffrey Nath Bhasker, Samuel Tyler Johnson, Camaron Marvel Ochs
September 30, 2022 — It’s been four long years since award-winning quintet Sister Sadie released their last album, and while the group’s hardly been idle — they took home the International Bluegrass Music Association’s top Entertainer of the Year award in 2020, Vocal Group of the Year trophies in 2019, 2020 and 2021, along with a miscellany of other honors, all while bringing three new members on board — the clamor for new music has only grown since then.
Now, with the release of “Diane,” their debut single for Mountain Home Music Company that they played at last night’s IBMA awards, the demand has been answered — and not only is the new record a sizzling hot slice of contemporary bluegrass, it’s the first bluegrass single to be released right out of the gate in immersive audio, powered by Dolby Atmos.
With a stunning a capella opening that features new members Jaelee Roberts (guitar) and Mary Meyer (mandolin) alongside founding member Gena Britt (banjo), “Diane” is tailor-made for maximum listener impact as it unwinds a story co-written and first sung by country singer Cam, who described the 2017 single as a kind of answer to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” Offering up the lyric’s frank tale of infidelity told from the point of view of an unwitting “other woman,” the group barrels through a dynamic arrangement that alternates between vivid, commanding lead vocals from Roberts, powerful trio harmonies and driving instrumental passages that feature Meyer, Britt, fiddler Deanie Richardson and even bassist Hasee Ciacco.
“Deanie introduced the song ‘Diane’ to the band after hearing Cam perform it on the Grand Ole Opry while she was in the staff band,” says the band. “Once we started gathering material to record, we knew we had to try it! It’s the perfect fit for us. It features the intricate harmony vocals that this band is drawn to and showcases some stellar playing as well from every member. We had a great time learning this one! Once we dug in, the ideas and excitement started pouring out of all of us. This is an incredibly fun song to play and the audience response has been dynamite!”