[Review] Sarah Jarosz -- "Song Up In Her Head."

I've been meaning to talk about this CD for a while, but it got mixed up in the craziness over the last few months.

The same folks that sent me the Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers album a few months ago included this gem of a bluegrass album by Sarah Jarosz.

I've always had a soft spot for female artists with a bit of a twang (see Alison Krauss...the Taylor Swift thing is something else entirely). But Sarah Jarosz puts together some of the most beautiful bluegrass tracks I've heard in a while in her debut album "Song Up In Her Head" (Sugar Hill).

Jarosz is only 18, but she has a powerful voice that is well beyond her years. Even more impressive is that the Austin-born singer is a multi-instrumentalist. She is credited for playing guitar, mandolin, clawhammer banjo and piano.

She is also a masterful songwriter, writing all the songs on the album except for two covers. Jarosz has a lot of potential and I can't see where she goes from here.

The opening title track is a dark, brooding song that begins "The Virgin Mary/All Dressed in blue/ Sings "My First Lover"/ For an audience of two." The second track, "Edge of a Dream," softens things a little, allowing Jarosz to flaunt her vocal ability in this banjo driven ballad.

The highlight by far for me was the haunting -- and I mean haunting -- version of The Decembrists' "Shankill Butchers." I already loved this song, but Jarosz version is shockingly powerful.

I see big things ahead for this young girl.

Download: Sarah Jarosz - "Edge of a Dream."

1 comment:

Chris said...

She's got a head on her shoulders, too.