Beloved for his dedication to country music traditionalism with a garage-rock twist, Dallas Good, the co-founding vocalist and guitarist for the Sadies, died Thursday. According to the Toronto-based band’s Facebook page, the 48-year-old Good died of natural causes “while under a doctor’s care for a coronary illness.”
“The stage is dark today with the all-too-soon passing of one of music’s brightest lights,” the Facebook statement said. “We love you Dallas.”
Dallas and his guitarist-vocalist brother Travis — two sons of bluegrass icon Bruce Good of the Good Brothers, a Juno Award–winning ensemble — formed the Sadies in 1994 with a tart take on their father’s rustic traditions as their goal.
Armed with the sort of brotherly harmonies that would do the Everlys proud, the Goods and their fellow Sadies — bassist Sean Dean and drummer Mike Bellitsky — recorded their first album, “Precious Moments,” in 1998, and quickly became the toast of an alt-country scene that included Sally Timms, the Jayhawks, the Pernice Brothers and Blue Rodeo.
With each album that followed, Dallas and the Sadies evolved their sound to include more roots garage sounds, surf twangs and punk-rock on records such as 2002’s “Stories Often Told,” 2010’s “Darker Circles” and their definitive 2006 live recording, the double album “In Concert: Volume One.” Along with the ensemble’s instrumental savvy, best heard in the Sadies’ raucous live performances, the Goods could spin fanciful yarns and richly told stories through their emotive lyrics.
When they weren’t busy making records with each other, the Sadies recorded often with other like-minded artists — making the collaborative, co-billed albums “Mayors of the Moon” with Jon Langford in 2003; “The Tigers Have Spoken” with Neko Case in 2004; 2009’s “Country Club” with John Doe from X; and 2012’s family affair, “The Good Family Album” where their father’s Good Brothers joined forces with his sons’ group.
In addition to a constant slate of touring and recording with the Sadies, Dallas Good worked with Neil Young, Kurt Vile, Garth Hudson (the Band’s famed organist) and the late Justin Townes Earle. Dallas also crafted a Lee Hazlewood-influenced track, “Bluebird,” for 2002’s compilation “A Tribute to Robert Altman’s Nashville,” covering a song written for the film by Ronee Blakley and originally performed by Timothy Brown.
“Some of the best music I’ve ever heard came out of Dallas Good,” wrote Chavez guitarist Matt Sweeney on Twitter. “He was a genius and the f’n coolest person.”
Some of the best music I’ve ever heard came out of Dallas Good of the Sadies. Devastated to hear of his passing. He was a genius and the f’n coolest person. My heart goes out to his incredible family and friends.https://t.co/AdA3YDg0ZF
— matt sweeney (@theheavyjamz) February 18, 2022
Even the usually reserved, renowned producer Steve Albini shared an emotional message upon hearing of Good’s passing. “He was a beautiful guy, and naturally gifted musician. Opened every conversation laughing, a warm unpretentious soul. Everybody who knew him feels like they lost a brother.”
While the Sadies’ last album was 2017’s “Northern Passages,” the band dropped a new single this year, “Message to Belial,” produced by Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, and had tour dates on the books for 2022, according to the Sadies’ website.