On June 16th, She + Him (consisting of the adorable Zooey Deschanel and the immensely talented M. Ward) brought their tour through Austin, TX with a show at ACL Live. While She + Him was as entertaining as I had hoped, this review is about the stellar performance from the band that opened the show, The Secret Sisters.

The Secret Sisters is a duo of real-life sisters, Laura and Lydia Rogers, from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. I’ve actually seen the duo several times before, opening for singers such as Levon Helm and Ray Lamontagne. Those performances left an impression, but Sunday night’s set completely blew me away. For 45 minutes, The Secret Sisters alternated between tracks from their debut album (out now on Universal Republic), new songs from their upcoming follow-up album (coming this Fall!), and covers of classics from Patsy Cline and The Everly Brothers.

What struck me most was how much of an impact The Secret Sisters made with minimal stage set-up. Dressed in simple black dresses and sharing a single guitar (with piano accompaniment on one song), the girls let their voices be the main attraction. ACL Live was the perfect venue to showcase this kind of performance, allowing the sisters’ tight harmonies (the kind only siblings can have) to powerfully fill the room. Because the only accompaniment was a guitar, the country influence found on their self-titled debut wasn’t as obvious (which likely made them more appealing to the pop loving fans of She + Him). Instead, their performance took on more of a roots and gospel feel.

The best part about the show was that Laura and Lydia’s personalities were as strong as their vocals. Telling stories between every song and expressing their sincere gratitude for the opportunity to play, the sisters (especially Laura) were incredibly charming. They held the (unusually attentive) audience in the palm of their hands.

The Secret Sisters have already worked with amazing talent, including Dave Cobb, T-Bone Burnett, and Jack White, and I can’t wait to hear what their new album has to offer. Great for fans of Pasty Cline, Patty Griffin, First Aid Kit and the like.

– Submitted by Jessica Reed, Social Media