photo by Carolina Mariana Rodríguez

Big Sadie is a Chicago-based acoustic band fronted by Elise Bergman (upright bass, vocals) and Collin Moore (guitar, vocals). Defined by rich, intricate harmonies and rustic yet sophisticated instrumental arrangements, Big Sadie takes a modern yet timeless approach to American roots music.

Bergman and Moore both grew up surrounded by music. With roots spanning from the Midwest to the heart of Appalachia, their sound honors their heritage and is inspired by the rich musical histories of these places. Chicago native Bergman brings a solid blues and folk influence to the group while Moore is firmly planted in the bluegrass and old-time he started playing as a boy in the hills of East Tennessee. Bergman was trained in classical and jazz piano and started playing guitar and writing songs in early high school. Moore began learning tunes at a young age from his mother, an accomplished fiddler and ballad singer, and went on to play guitar, bass, and mandolin with various bluegrass bands in Tennessee and Montana. Since first teaming up in 2005, Bergman and Moore have collaborated with numerous string players and toured the Midwest, Southeast, and Northwest United States as a duo and as members of other projects.

In early 2015, Bergman and Moore began playing with Andy Malloy, a native Oklahoman and mainstay of Chicago’s vibrant bluegrass scene, and Matt Brown, a Pennsylvania-raised multi-instrumentalist and instructor at the Old Town School of Folk Music. After a series of collaborations, Malloy and Brown officially joined Big Sadie in mid-2016. With the addition of Malloy’s energetic and inventive banjo playing and Brown’s masterful fiddling, Big Sadie is quickly gaining recognition for their compelling songwriting, skillful playing, and dynamic live performance.

With the ability to move seamlessly between traditional and original, the versatile band is equally at home on a festival stage, in an auditorium hall, accompanying a dance, busking on a sidewalk, passing tunes around a circle, or in an intimate rock club. Big Sadie has opened for acts ranging from country-music legend Marty Stuart to pop and indie-rock outfit Wild Belle.

photo by Timothy Musho