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Sarah Jarosz
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  • Follow Me Down








  • Adrian's Album Reviews |

    Sarah Jarosz

    Related Artists - Billy Bragg, Bob Dylan, Steeleye Span
    Related Genres - Folk

    Follow Me Down ( 2011 )
    Run Away / Come Around / Annabelle Lee / Ring Them Bells / My Muse / Floating In The Balance / Old Smitty / The Tourist / Here Nor There / Gypsy / Peace

    She covers 'Ring Them Bells' by Bob Dylan and 'The Tourist' by Radiohead. You hear an album sometimes and it becomes clear immediately that something special is going on. 'Run Away' features Sarah playing guitar, banjo and toy piano as well as singing of course. She writes the words and the music and has a good voice that isn't really a country music voice, but that's the genre people have tagged her with. If she's country, so is Bob Dylan. Talented musicians back her, this is her second album and she's still only 19 years old. Some of the playing is wonderful, the songs are very strong and the production is uncluttered allowing the strength of the music to come through. She's the kind of artist that would and maybe will appear on 'Later' with Jools Holland and wow an audience who have never heard of her before. Her voice is fairly soft and gentle yet rises to the occasion where it needs to. The touches of country music instrumentation fill out this largely acoustic/roots set. 'Annabelle Lee' isn't really Country music, it's proper singer/songwriter, American folk music. She's an American Laura Marling, if you will. 'Annabelle Lee' by the way is an Edgar Allan Poe poem adapted and set to music by Sarah. It's utterly stunning with wonderful lap-steel, violin and male harmony vocals. What was the word I was looking for? Bluegrass I suppose, yet she sure as hell beats all mighty out of Alison Krauss in our house.

    Her Bluegrass tinged cover of Dylan's 'Ring Them Bells' eclipses the original. 'My Muse' comes in with husky vocals, a beautiful voice. The Radiohead cover may well annoy purists yet it's a sign that Sarah Jarosz wants to be more, much more than a mere genre artist. Madolin, Violin, Bass and Guitar accompany Sarah's vocals and the bass on the album deserves a mention, actually. It does what it's supposed to and more, it has a wonderful feel and fills in only where absolutely neccessary, the sound of this bass during 'The Tourist' whilst Sarah sings and achieves rare heights as a voice of purity is a thing to behold. Again, 'The Tourist' is a cover version that amazingly manages to better the original. When the original appeared on an album routinely hailed as one of the finest ever released, that's quite something. I should finish and just listen, because typing whilst listening is often distracting and this album is demanding I listen to it.

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    this page last updated 21/05/11


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