“What have these people done to music?” wails Sallie Ford on Dirty Radio‘s explosive opener, “I Swear.” She’s raging against sound-alike pop stars foisted on the public by mainstream media, but it’s a question worth putting to the interrogators, too. The answer: Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, who vigorously mine a sweet spot between modern and vintage. Sallie’s voice has elicited comparisons to classic jazz and blues icons, yet it is stoked with the fire of youth and rebellion, too, an instrument capable of conveying raw emotion and nuanced artistry in the same breath.
Dirty Radio was recorded and refined throughout 2010 under the guidance of engineer Adam Selzer (Norfolk & Western), with a few additional tracks overseen by Mike Coykendall (M. Ward, She & Him, Blitzen Trapper). “I knew we would come up with something special, just because of the sound on the records that I really liked that those guys had done, music that had a warm tone to it,” says Sallie. They recorded to tape, and though the performances aimed to capture the feel of the foursome’s live shows—“it would’ve felt weird to record the songs any other way“—they did enhance the arrangements with additional strings and keyboards, and an attention to sonic detail, particularly the quirky percussive touches that add color throughout.
Since 2008, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside had been intertwining elements of swinging roots rock, country, jazz, and blues with a contemporary lyrical stance and Ford’s instantly recognizable voice. The Portland quartet steadily ascended through the ranks, earning a growing following throughout the Pacific Northwest. Ardent evangelizing by nationally-recognized peers like the Avett Brothers only augmented that momentum and with the release of Dirty Radio, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside offered the most fully-realized example of its aesthetic yet.
01. I Swear
04. Poison Milk
05. Against The Law
06. Thirteen Years Old
07. This Crew
08. Write Me A Letter
09. Where Did You Go?
Standard Black Vinyl LP includes Digital Download Card.
Released May 24, 2011