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Sister Sadie as 2024 Blue Blaze Winner
Blue Blaze

The Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival has awarded Sister Sadie the Blue Blaze Award for the 53rd annual event. The Blue Blaze Award is given to artists for continuing and promoting bluegrass music as well as participating in the past Jamborees.

Comprised of original members Deanie Richardson (fiddle), Gena Britt (banjo & vocals) and newcomers Jaelee Roberts (guitar & vocals), Dani Flowers (guitar & vocals), and Maddie Dalton (acoustic bass & vocals), Sister Sadie has combined the varied talents of each of the individual women in the lineup to create something that is far more than the sum of its parts. It is a sound uniquely their own. The first gravitational shift came in finding a new lead vocalist in 2020—someone whose voice had the power and confidence to hold court and capture an audience. Fortunately, Jaelee Roberts had all the above and more. Roberts had been near the members of Sister Sadie for her whole life: Richardson played with her dad, Danny Roberts (another Jamboree favorite) in New Tradition and Britt had played with her mom in Petticoat Junction. So, when it came time to find a new vocalist, it was clear who the choice should be.

The original Station Inn lineup formed the core of the band for the majority of the first eight years, featuring Dale Ann Bradley, Beth Lawrence, Tina Adair, and of course, Deanie Richardson and Gena Britt. In 2019, following the release of their second studio album “Sister Sadie II” on Pinecastle Records, they had their debut on the Grand Ole Opry, won their first IBMA award for Vocal Group of the Year, and received a GRAMMY nomination for Bluegrass Album of the Year. In 2020, Deanie was named the IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year (the second woman to win that prize in the 30-year history of the awards), and the band took home the top prize as the Entertainer of the Year. Sister Sadie also was named Vocal Group of the Year for the second year running.

“We are thrilled to give this year’s award to Sister Sadie. Four out of the five band members have been at the Jamboree – Deanie Richardson, Jaelee Roberts, Dani Flowers, and Gena Britt. What an honor to give this award to a group of women who have been involved with the Jamboree over the years and have been successful in their musical endeavors ever since,” stated Jamboree President Kim Driver Luton.

“I started going to the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree when I was a young girl,” said Deanie Richardson. “I was the first fiddler to win the National Beginner Fiddler Championship at the age of twelve. That win also awarded me my first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. I cannot tell you what this Jamboree means to every young person who plays an instrument and works all year to prepare for this competition. I have made lifelong friends that I still talk to and play music with that I met at the Jamboree. I now have students of my own that attend the Jamboree and I get to go with them and accompany them when they compete. That is the ultimate experience for me to get to relive it and feel their excitement about being there as I did when I was their age. I am thrilled to get to be there this year with our band, Sister Saide and accept the Blue Blaze Award for 2023”, continued Deanie.

In 2021, Sister Sadie was featured in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s American Currents exhibit. That same year, the band took home a third consecutive IBMA Vocal Group of the Year award, and new member Jaelee Roberts was awarded the IBMA Momentum Vocalist of the Year award. In 2022, Gena Britt was recognized as the SPBGMA Banjo Player of the Year and Sister Sadie signed with Mountain Home Records to begin work on their third studio album. In 2023, Jaelee Roberts took home the honor of SPBGMA Female Vocalist of the Year. The band continues to work on the third album which is set to be released soon.

“Sister Sadie is an inspiring musical collaboration bringing together some of the best women bluegrass music has ever claimed.” ~ Alison Krauss 

The award will be presented on Saturday, July 6th @5:00 pm – followed by music provided by Sister Sadie. The Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree & Craft Festival is free to the public. For more information about Sister Sadie, go to Sister Sadie ( Visit for more info about the Jamboree. This year’s Jamboree will be held Friday, July 5th & Saturday, July 6th.