Exclaim! 25th Anniversary: Our History with the Sadies
Published Feb 08, 2017The Sadies are two years younger than Exclaim! but we've had a relationship of mutual appreciation with Dallas Good, Travis Good, Mike Belitsky and Sean Dean since even before the band formed. Here's a brief history of how Exclaim! and the Sadies have intertwined.
Exclaim! is founded in April 1992. In July, a profile of Sean Dean's band Phleg Camp is published, written by Toronto rock icon Ian "Budd" Blurton (Change of Heart, Blurtonia). The white text on black background and failure to mention who is interviewed or even a single band member's name reveals our nascent music journalism.
The August issue features a live review of the Satanatras, featuring guitarist Dallas Good, who "leaps around frenzied, strikes awesome rock poses, plays a mean lead and his long hair is almost always flying." An October live review of the same band describes Dallas "wearing a blonde wig and swimming goggles." A Phleg Camp live review from the Royal Albert in Winnipeg is published in December.
1993 to 1994
A June issue feature on the Satanatras reveals that they recently had a gig opening for Dinosaur Jr. cancelled because J Mascis didn't like their name. Live reviews of the Satanatras and Phleg Camp, as well as ones for several Phleg Camp seven-inches, appear over the next couple of years.
Halifax drummer Mike Belitsky is featured on the June cover with Jale; he'd recently replaced departed drummer Alyson MacLeod. The October issue includes a feature on Phono-Comb, a band that includes Dallas Good as well as Don Pyle and Reid Diamond from Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, and Beverly Breckenridge of Fifth Column.
In August, the Sadies release their debut album Precious Moments. Dallas Good is featured on the cover with fellow Toronto singer-songwriter Kyp Harness. In December, Exclaim! reports that the Sadies are arrested in Missouri; Dallas Good is found with a small amount of hash on him. "If you walk into a jail in Missouri and say that you're a country singer in jail for one lousy reefer, it's the best excuse you can have," Good tells Exclaim!, adding "My mug shot is so cool — I'm wearing my Deadly Snakes shirt."
A live review of the Pernice Brothers from CMJ is the first mention of occasional collaborator Belitsky, as well as Jale's Laura Stein.
In the February issue, we report that the Sadies have completed an album with R&B legend Andre Williams; they were only supposed to play on a couple of songs, but after a snowstorm strands them in the studio, they play on the whole record. Williams refers to the band as "The Shades" the entire time.
A feature on their second album, Tremendous Efforts, is published in April. In December, Exclaim! names the album the #7 folk/country album of the year.
In the February issue, Exclaim! readers vote Tremendous Efforts their #2 favourite folk/country album. In August, Neko Case releases her third album, Blacklisted, on which Dallas Good plays guitar. She answers the Exclaim! Questionnaire, then called 20 Questions. The November issue includes a feature on the Sadies' new album Stories Often Told, produced by Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor. In the December issue, Neko Case's Blacklisted is named best folk/country album; the Sadies' Stories Often Told is #4. In February 2003, Exclaim! readers rank Neko #1 and the Sadies #3 favourite folk/country albums. In March 2003, an album by Jon Langford and His Sadies called Mayors of the Moon is reviewed.
February includes a feature on the Unintended, a new band featuring the Sadies with Eric's Trip frontman Rick White. In September, Mike Belitsky is featured in the first-ever "What I Play" feature in Exclaim! In September, the Sadies' new album Favourite Colours is reviewed; it's named the #3 folk/country album of the year in the December issue and readers vote it #4 in the February 2005 issue.
2006 to 2007
The Sadies appear on the cover of the August 2006 issue of Exclaim! for their first live album, In Concert Vol. 1. Their next studio album, New Seasons, is reviewed in the September 2007 issue; in the December 2007 issue it's named the #1 folk/country album of the year.
In February, Dallas and Travis Good are featured in a "Where I Play" feature in Exclaim! Their new album, Darker Circles, is reviewed in the May issue. In December, Exclaim! will again declare that the Sadies have made the best folk/country album of the year.
2012 to 2014
In June 2012, Andre Williams releases a second album with the Sadies as his backing band, called Night and Day; Dallas Good does interviews on his behalf. In June 2013, Dallas and Travis are featured along with their father and uncle, who are in one of Canada's pioneering country bands, the Good Brothers. Together they release an album as The Good Family.
As the Sadies prepare to release their 10th album Northern Passages on February 10, we celebrate a long career in music together.