Unique to Sad Daddy, all of its members sing lead, and write original tunes, and the combined sound is truly a mix of American Roots music. From the sounds of early blues, jazz and jug bands to early country, folk, old-time, bluegrass, to soul and funk, they combine many influences, similar and different, creating an indefinable genre of their own they like to call Sad Daddy. Joe Sundell, on banjo and harmonica, developed his unique banjo picking style from studying Mississippi John Hurt’s finger picking. On the tunes that are more jug-band style, Joe brings his unmistakable ‘Joe bounce’ ragtime jazz feel. His distinctive voice, deep yet trebley like a combo of Willie and Hank, and folksy writing and delivery reminiscent of Woody Guthrie, meshes perfectly with the stylings of the other three. Brain Martin on guitar, kazoo, mouth horns, and harmonica also emulates Mississippi John Hurt’s style picking on guitar and seems to be in a league of his own with his masterful kazoo and mouth horn solos. Brian’s deep, gravelly vocal tone is reminiscent of a Leon Redbone or Tom Waits and his writing of Willis Alan Ramsey and John Prine. Melissa Carper, bringing the booming upright bass, makes sure the whole room is on the right groove. Also pulling from early country, blues and jazz (such as Jimmie Rodgers, Leadbelly, Billy Holiday) Carper has been called by Saving Country Music ‘one of this generation’s greatest singers and songwriters.’ Her voice has been likened to a ‘Hill-Billy Holiday’ by her peers, with a muted horn like tone that melds with and soars above the tones of Joe and Brian’s voices. Rebecca Patek gets rowdy on fiddle, sliding between all the styles with her effortless delivery and down home and funky rhythms. Her distinctive voice, somewhat like an old-timey Iris Dement, and her lazy vocal phrasing are a delight for the ear to follow around. Her songwriting style combines roots with, at times, more modern grooves adding yet another unique piece to the Sad Daddy pie.
Going back in time, the first seedlings of Sad Daddy were planted when Martin and Carper met in Arkansas at each other’s shows and talked about joining up to play together some day. This would come to fruition in 2010 as they brainstormed playing shows together during the summer months. He mentioned it would be fun to have a 3rd person on this project and Carper had recently starting busking down in Austin, TX with Sundell (native Arkansan) and suggested Joe as the 3rd person. The 3 immediately shared tunes via the interweb (Martin in AR and Carper and Sundell in TX) and began preparation for a summer of touring together in 2010. They decided to make a quick recording of each other’s tunes to sell on the summer tour. This self-titled debut album of 10 original songs was soon to become a fast favorite of all who would hear it, including many of Sad Daddy’s stone-cold hits to this day. Martin had been entertaining the idea of naming a band ‘Sad Daddy’, an expression he had picked up from a friend in Southern Arkansas who would call a big fish, or a big snake, or a big buck a ‘Sad Daddy’– so Sad Daddy it was. The three had a successful first summer of touring in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas and began gaining a following in these states. Sundell and Carper returned to Texas after this summer of fun in which they had pitched tent mostly in Arkansas. They continued to meet up in each other’s states for shows. A year or so later, Patek began sitting in on the Texas Sad Daddy shows and soon the trio couldn’t live without the amazing addition of her fiddling and singing to the group.
Come join us for live music, great drinks, delicious gourmet sandwiches, and flatbread pizzas on our incredible covered and heated deck. Bring a friend – or two – and relax as you enjoy some great live music.
As always, our live music is free – we don’t charge a cover. If you’re looking for a room, check out our website at www.wanderoolodge.com/book-a-room
or give us a call at (479) 363-6755