The Secret Sisters were an American traditional country music tribute and cover act, consisting of vocalists Laura and Lydia Rogers. The duo's music has been compared to artists like The Everly Brothers.
Laura and Lydia Rogers are sisters from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. With a love for music coming from both sides of their family (their grandfather and his brothers forged a group called The Happy Valley Boys), they grew up with a zeal for country music and sang songs with their family by country music artists such as Don Williams. The girls first learned to harmonize through singing a cappella at their hometown church. Laura and Lydia never considered a singing career as a duo. Laura went to Middle Tennessee State University to pursue a career in business, while Lydia was considered the "real" singer of the family.
2010: Discovery and debut album:
Laura traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for an impromptu audition at Hotel Indigo where music business record executive Andrew Brightman and producer Dave Cobb were present, looking to create a new singing group. Lydia could not attend the audition, so Laura traveled by herself, where she auditioned with "Same Old You" by Miranda Lambert. Representatives from the audition soon asked her to come back to Nashville, to which she asked if she could bring her sister Lydia along. Lydia showed up later and they were asked to sing together, resulting in the formation of The Secret Sisters. The girls were soon flown to Los Angeles for their first time in the studio to record a couple of demos. For Laura, it was her first time in an airplane. The demos were produced and record companies began responding accordingly. Within weeks, they were assigned to Universal Republic Records and the song selection process for their debut album began.
Their self-titled debut album consists of ballads, originals, and cover songs such as "Why Don't Ya Love Me?", "Why Baby Why", and the Frank Sinatra song "Somethin' Stupid". The album also includes two originals written by Laura Rogers: "Tennessee Me" and "Waste the Day". The album was recorded in two weeks at Blackbird Studios. Their eleven-song debut was produced by Dave Cobb, who has worked with artists such as Waylon Jennings and Jamey Johnson, and also executive produced by T-Bone Burnett. The Secret Sisters brought in studio musicians such as steel guitar player Robbie Turner and pianist Pig Robbins. Also included on the album is a cover of the 60s rock song by then teenage singer Nancy Baron, "I've Got a Feeling", written by Wally Zober and C. Laverne. The album was also recorded with classic analog equipment. The production team and the sisters utilized vintage microphones and classic recording techniques, down to the same type of tape they would have used fifty years ago. The album was released October 12, 2010. Laura tried to describe the experience: "In so many ways we are still the same kids who would perform songs in our parents' room, when we sang about silver threads and golden needles and cold-hearted snakes, and all that. Even with everything that's happened - getting that dream chance to make our own album, I really believe we've just found where we're supposed to be."
In addition to their debut album, they also recorded "Big River" & "Wabash Cannonball", at Jack White's studio - with White on guitar. It was released as a 7-inch single, also available from iTunes.
Their song "Tomorrow Will Be Kinder", inspired by the book The Hunger Games is featured on the album The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Beyond' but the song was not featured in the film..
2014: Put Your Needle Down:
The duo recorded their second album in December 2012 and January 2013 at the Village Recording Studios, Los Angeles, with T-Bone Burnett acting as producer.
The album, titled Put Your Needle Down, was released on April 15, 2014. It debuted at No. 110 on the Billboard 200, and at No. 18 on the Top Country Albums chart with 3,700 copies sold in its debut week. Reviews were mixed on the album. Several critics expressed disappointment with the album's production and songwriting.
2015: Dropped by Republic Universal Records':
Due to lackluster sales of Put Your Needle Down (22,000 copies U.S. SoundScan) and the lack of a commercial radio single; the duo was dropped by their record label Republic Universal Records. The group's touring schedule greatly decreased with the majority of their shows being local bars, state fairs charity events and opening slots.