NERDO DOES MUSIC: “Shotgun Sadie” (feat. The False Bottom Band) by EllaHarp

shotgun sadie

Welcome to another installment of our ever widening coverage of music here on Usually, we cover full albums when we take a look at a musical selection. This is a special case. This song is hypnotic. It can best be described as a murder ballad about a woman who shoots her abusive husband.

A selection of lyrics:

You know where he keeps it 
And one night you hide it underneath the bed 
Shoot him in the dark 
Because you don’t want to see what he looks like dead 

There’s something hauntingly beautiful about the lyrics and that’s only amplified by the angelic voice who sings throughout. There’s this blues tinged vibe that soaks up the entire song. Even though, the base track is all plucking away on the banjo. It’s very soulful.

I’ve listened to this song countless times already. It’s definitely one of those songs you’ll throw on loop and lose a half hour to before you know it.


SF harpist, singer/songwriter EllaHarp is changing what you expect from the harp. Driving bass lines and artful folk pop on a unique instrument she designed for the purpose, EllaHarp is a creative force to be reckoned with and shows no signs of slowing down.

Her independently released debut album ‘Who Asked You Back’ received airplay on over 85 radio stations nationally and internationally, and reached #4 and #2 on Roots Music Reporter Top 50 Folk and Top 50 Contemporary Folk Album Charts.

Following her 2018 album release, EllaHarp toured 7 states and a province with over 150 live performances, from Bay Area festivals to ‘The Bitter End’ in NYC, and opening for Grammy winning singer Mya in San Diego.

Despite the pandemic’s blow to a promising start in 2020 (opening for Hollow Coves and Harrison Storm in SF’s Noise Pop Festival in February) EllaHarp shifted focus and built nearly 35K followers on Instagram, 20K on Facebook, over 10K on Spotify, and well over half a million streams since COVID. She performed in Seattle Hempfest 2020 (online) and her track ‘Time’ can be heard on popular new Netflix show ‘Emily in Paris’.

Singles from EllaHarp’s anticipated sophomore album ‘Screaming Into the Void’ continue to be released til the album’s launch in 2021.

Now, from the artist about the song:

Shotgun Sadieis a modern murder ballad about a woman who shoots her abusive husband, similar in vein to Gillian Welch’s ‘Caleb Myer’, and my first track with a banjo base. Released Dec 18th (apparently if I release a ‘Christmas song’ someone is going to have to get killed) and recorded on a mini 5 string banjo I designed and built over the summer. Recorded and produced by Andrew Heringer, and backed by local americana/bluegrass group ‘The False Bottom Band’ (a ‘beergrass’ group formed during quarantine with the owners/brewers at a local craft brewery, Hop Dogma).

You can find EllaHarp at:


If you’re looking for something new to listen to, you definitely need to give this song and EllaHarp a chance. I can’t stress enough how hypnotic and calming her voice is. I sat down to listen to this song and instantly felt transported into the story.

It reminded me of Bonnie & Clyde for some reason. Or even Thelma & Louise. It felt like a folktale. The story of a legendary outlaw, almost. But instead, Shotgun Sadie is a woman pushed to a breaking point by the one person who was supposed to love her and be there for her. The picture painted by EllaHarp is tragic and beautiful all at once.

Shotgun Sadie.

I could see her in a car, putting her life in the rear view mirror and moving on. I even saw the moment where the cops eventually caught up to her. The red and blue lights lapped at her car, as she sped into the distance…

And run run run now Shotgun Sadie 
You’ll, run run away 
And run run run now, oh Sadie 
You’ll, run run away 

“Shotgun Sadie” (feat. The False Bottom Band) by EllaHarp