From The Desk Of The Secret Sisters: Jim Hays, Maker Of Hays Guitars

Laura and Lydia Rogers came from a musical family but neither had seriously considered a career in music until Laura traveled to Nashville for an open audition, where she caught the ear of industry execs and producers. Asked to return for a follow-up, Laura brought Lydia along. Shortly thereafter, the Secret Sisters were on a plane to L.A. to record demos for their 2010 self-titled debut on Universal, produced by T Bone Burnett. Sophomore effort Put Your Needle Down followed in 2014. In the interim they toured with Bob Dylan and recorded with Jack White. Put Your Needle Down, a respectable album on the slick country-revival model, garnered uneven reviews. Then the Secret Sisters were dropped by their label, but they didn’t stop writing. The new You Don’t Own Me Anymore‘s cheeky title obliquely recalls the Secret Sisters’ major-label woes—as does much of the lyrical content—but the album (on New West) as a whole fits into a long tradition of country statements about survival past deep damage. Laura and Lydia will be guest editing all week, Read our new feature on them.

Laura and Lydia: When music is your livelihood, the tools you use to make it are crucial to progress and growth. Guitars that are worth playing are not easy to make, but this man makes instruments that have a spirit about them. We’ve had the joy of touring with a beautiful acoustic guitar handcrafted by our buddy Jim Hays, from Athens, Ala. Jim spends so much time crafting and building each of his guitars, and the sound they make is unmatched! Our Hays guitar is clear and easy to play, and everywhere we travel, folks ask us about it. He has a knack for finding wood with a story, and we believe those stories create instruments that have songs just waiting inside. We wrote the entirety of our third album on a Hays guitar, and we know much of the songwriting magic came from it!