The Song Remains: Dallas Good 1975 – 2022

Credit: Bigoldv8 The Sadies - SXSW 2008 Free Show at Yard Dog Art Gallery

Canadian music and americana communities in shock at the sudden passing of the Sadies’ Dallas Good.

The Canadian music and americana communities went into a state of shock with the news of the passing of Dallas Good, singer and guitarist with Canadian band the Sadies,  on Thursday, February 17th, 2022 from natural causes while under doctor’s care for a coronary illness only discovered earlier this week.  The genuine sense of surprise and shock reflects not only the fact that Dallas Good was only 48 but also recognises the fundamental influence the Sadies have had on Canadian and americana music in the 21st Century. Quite simply, modern-day americana would not be the same without their influence, and Dallas Good was a key part of their overall sound.

Dallas Good and his brother Travis, guitar and vocals, formed the Sadies in 1994 with Sean Dean, bass, and Mike Belitsky, drums, releasing their debut album ‘Precious Moments’ in 1998.  The Sadies blended punk, country, americana, surf, and garage rock and were key players in the alt-country movement of the early 2000s. Bruce Good, Dallas’s father, was a member of the bluegrass band the Good Brothers, who as well as being a Juno Award-winning band were also inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of fame in 2004, ensuring Dallas Good had a real grounding in country music.  The Sadies released a steady stream of ten remarkably consistent studio albums plus various collaborations and live recordings, including their 2006 breakthrough live double album, ‘In Concert: Volume One’, which had various guest artists such as The Band’s Garth Hudson supporting the band. Their latest album, 2017’s ‘Northern Passage’, showed them maintaining their songwriting and instrumental skills and demonstrating the musical telepathy you get with a band that has recorded and toured together for over twenty years.

The Sadies collaborated with various artists over the years, including Neko Case, the Mekons, Kurt Vile, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robyn Hitchcock among many others. They were a key part of Garth Hudson’s 2011 homage to The Band, ‘Garth Hudson Presents a Canadian Celebration of The Band’ where they backed Neil Young on ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’ and covered ‘The Shape I’m In’ with Garth Hudson as well backing Mary Margret O’Hara on ‘Out of the Blue’. Neil Young also invited them to be the opening act on his tour of Canada with Crazy Horse. The Sadies signed with Yep Roc Records in 2002 and over the intervening twenty years have come to be seen as a defining act of the label.

Canadian country music shares a lot with its American counterpart, but it is also different giving it a distinctly Canadian slant and a more open-minded approach. The Sadies were informed by the Canadian country music traditions but also significantly added to it with their addition of other genres of music. Their songwriting and performing skills provided inspiration for the next generation of Canadian acts and ensured the Sadies were also revered by earlier Canadian acts such as Neil Young and Garth Hudson. While the Sadies are a true band in every sense, Dallas Good’s contribution on guitar and as a songwriter was absolutely key to their overall sound and success. Additionally, his production work was also a major part of the Sadies sound. Dallas Good enhanced the music of Canada and the wider americana genre and was a key member of one of the best and most influential bands of the 21st Century. If you are already a fan, or this shocking news has piqued your interest in Dallas Good’s music, then honour his memory by listening to the music he helped create and spare some thoughts for his family, friends, and colleagues.


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About Martin Johnson 204 Articles
I've been a music obsessive for more years than I care to admit to. Part of my enjoyment from music comes from discovering new sounds and artists while continuing to explore the roots of American 20th century music that has impacted the whole of world culture.

4 Comments

    • And so sudden Andrew. As you say, such a fine band and I think they will belatedly attract new listeners.

    • Thanks, Tim. As is always the case on such occasions, it is a great pity it had to be written in the first place.

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