Seventeen-year-old Texas native Sarah Jarosz emerged on the scene about five years ago as someone to watch. Jamming onstage with bluegrass icons David Grisman and Ricky Skaggs, she played her mandolin with a sure touch and real joy. It looked and sounded comfortable in her then twelve-year-old hands. She started writing songs on the guitar and took up the banjo. While her instrumental talents are formidable, let's make one thing clear: Sarah is a singer. Her voice is velvety smooth, agile, and powerful occasionally reminiscent of such disparate artists as Natalie Maines and Patty Griffin. With subtle use of colors and effects, she inhabits her songs the way a fine actress does her role. Overall, her music feels good, avoids overreaching. Nothing's contrived.
About to graduate from high school this spring, Sarah is that rare self-possessed teenager. Her schoolteacher parents have raised her well, providing the skills, support, and freedom to become the confident artist that she is. Beautiful, talented, and just a little mysterious in a wholesome, Texas hill country kinda way, Sarah is at home in this world. She knows what she's about and is ready to get out there and make her mark.
"Song Up In Her Head," produced by Jarosz and award-winning engineer and producer Gary Paczosa, features a mix of her original new-old-timey ballads, and two well chosen covers, the Decemberists' "Shankill Butchers" and the Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan co-write, "Come On Up To The House," which mesh flawlessly with the other eleven songs. Her collaborators include teenaged peers, including Samson Grisman and Alex Hargreaves, as well as well-known veterans of the acoustic scene, including Chris Thile, Darrell Scott, Stuart Duncan, Mike Marshall and Jerry Douglas. It's an impressive coming out party, a survey of where she's been so far, and a good indicator of where she's headed. [Adapted from the liner notes by Tim O'Brien]
SARAH JAROSZ TOUR DATES 2009
April 18th Old Settler's Music Festival, Austin, TX
June 6th Pagosa Folk 'n Bluegrass Music Festival, Pagosa Springs, CO
June 11th Blue Rock Studios < CD Release Party >, Wimberly, TX
July 18th Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Wimberly, TX
July 26th Rocky Grass, Lyons, CO