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Charting her own pathway.
Posted by: Consumer1789 from: on
I am a fan of the music artist Sarah Jarosz and her previous music releases. I have listened to her music at one or two music bluegrass festivals in the past. I have all of her previous music albums in my music collection. This album is some of her work produced either while in college and perhaps post college from the New England Conservatory of Music. The majority of it however was worked upon her move to New York.
Undercurrent is Sarah Jarosz’s fourth release by Sugar Hill Records and produced by Gary Paczosa and Sarah Jarosz. If you are fan of Sarah Jarosz and some of her work from past albums then be prepared for a shock. Where her previous album releases of Song Up in Her Head, Follow Me Down, and Build Me Up From Bones included covers and virtuoso instrumentality this album strikes its own chord. This album doesn't include any song that can be considered traditional bluegrass or perhaps even "newgrass" and as far as I can tell includes works all written by Sarah and fellow collaborators such as Sara Watkins, formerly of Nickel Creek.
This is a far cry from some of her previous works that included Ms. Jarosz and her backing band doing awesome covers of traditional bluegrass. Fans of Sarah’s past are enthralled by her and the band blending a mix of instruments in perfect harmony while also being able to shine in solo virtuoso performances in the songs. This album includes harmonic instrumentality for a perfect blend of what can be best described as “bluesy americana” music with less of solo instrumentals. This is not to say that instruments such as the acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, etc. aren’t utilized in the songs but the songs feature the instruments less prominently. Such a musical blend of instruments is demonstrated in such songs as the guitar finger plucking of Early Morning Light, stringy intro of Everything to Hide, the bluesy sounding songs of House of Mercy, and Still Life.
If at first one is disappointed with this album due to the lack of traditional bluegrass or covers from Ms. Jarosz on this album it can be understandable. The album shouldn’t be marketed as bluegrass but more appropriately as Americana. Give it a few listens and really listen to the lyrics and the music album will grow on a listener. The album stands on its own and therefore should be judged on its own.
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