The successful run of the popular Duck Dynasty television series put the Robertson family front and center in America’s living rooms. According to the family patriarch, Silas “Uncle Si” Robertson, their reality TV show took them to places no one could’ve even predicted if they tried.
“I don’t think any of us saw it coming,” Robertson tells Billboard. “Not in a million years. I tell people all the time that Duck Dynasty has done one thing for the entire Robertson family — it actually strengthened our faith in God almighty. Look what he had to work with, and look where he took it. I’m still blown away by the reception that the show got. It’s a lot to take in.”
Many viewers were taken by the down-home wit and wisdom of the Robertson clan, and the fact that prayer around the dinner table was still a vital way of expressing their thanks for their blessings. “That was how I grew up. We all sat down around the table, and Daddy would say the blessing for the food and for the family, and everything we had. I really believe that’s how America grew up.”
Now, with the series entrenched into television history, Uncle Si has moved on to another endeavor in the world of entertainment: a musical career. The Louisiana native has teamed with his daughter-in-law Marsha Robertson and successful Music City tunesmith Bridgette Tatum to organize Uncle Si & The Sicotics, who just released their self-titled debut EP on Dec. 8.
“In 2016, my daughter in law were doing a charity event for veterans and first responders,” Si recalls of how the group was formed. “That’s where we met Miss Bridgette Tatum. We got to joking around about possibly writing some songs and then recording them, go out and sing on the road – just have fun. That’s what we wound up doing.”
Tatum says she is having a blast, as she made friends with the Robertson family in a quick fashion. And as one may expect, their on-screen personalities are no different than how they are off-camera. “I think that people think they live in a compound community or something like that, and when decisions are made, they just turn to each other on the couch,” Tatum says. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. But, they are a really good family – one that sticks together at the end of the day. They’re just good people.”
As you can imagine, there is a great deal of humor on the album – ranging from “Throwback Man,” written about Uncle Si (“Marsha and Bridgette know me pretty well… I am a very low-tech man in a high-tech world,” he says) to “Chicken Puddin,” which Tatum confesses was written based on an idea that her uncle Mike gave to her. She jokes that she has never found it to be an actual dish!
“I have not found there to be. I have done research with my Na-Na. I’ve looked on Google, and nobody has a definition of what it is. So, I thought as a woman, I would come up with my own definition.”
The EP shifts moods a bit with the tender and moving “Garrison,” which Marsha takes the lead spotlight on. She says it’s her story, word for word.
“My dad passed away when I was fifteen. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” she shares. “He left us about a month and a half after he was diagnosed. My whole love for music came from my mom and dad. He’d come home from work, take a shower, and get his guitar, and I’d sing with him. He left us at the point in my life where I started to have a different relationship with my parents. It’s that cross-over point where they aren’t just your parents, but also who they are as a person. I lost that. I didn’t have that. I wanted to write this song. I tried for a while and it just never came. But, when we met Bridgette, we sat down and I told her about my idea to write the song. God just opened the doors, and we wrote it in about two hours. It’s one that I’m really proud of.”
Musically, how does the trio describe themselves? Marsha says they are all over the musical map. “We like to describe it as a little bit of Ray Stevens, mixed with some hip-hop with some Jerry Reed. You put that in a mixer, blend it all up, and that’s what you get when you listen to our album. We have a wide range of stuff on there, from stuff you can dance to something you can sing with or cry with, or songs that just make you smile. It just is a good mix of music.”