SARAH JAROSZ – Song Up In Her Head (Sugar Hill Records SUG CD 4049)

Sarah Jarosz was a new name to me when I first heard this stunning record played during the interval of a Martin Simpson gig. For those that care about these things, I suppose this is more of a Country album than ‘folk’ (there we go…pigeonholing again) but it still doesn’t detract from it being an astonishing piece of work whichever the side of the fence you’re on. I was also intrigued to find that Jarosz was not only a powerful vocalist but also a highly talented multi-instrumentalist with an arsenal of mandolin, octave mandolin, guitar, clawhammer banjo and piano at her disposal. Not bad when you take into account her age (and I don’t really wish to appear ageist about these things) of just nineteen! With a backing band including Jerry Douglas (slide guitar), Stuart Duncan (fiddle) and ex-Nickel Creek mandolin master Chris Thile you can see she moves in illustrious circles. Youthfulness to one side, this lady certainly has a mature head on her shoulders and a poetic way of writing that will draw the listener into a world that makes you feel she has plenty yet to offer. In one of her songs “Edge Of A Dream” she would lead you to believe that she is insecure of her surroundings as an adolescent. This, she clearly is not as the maturity of the lyric makes abundantly clear. This is the kind of album I can see being used as the soundtrack to teenage-based TV series such as Dawson’s Creek or Smallville and will I am sure pave the way for a brilliant future.


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