Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sarah Jarosz: Because, On Occasion, I Creep

So the other night about three AM, I was sitting by myself, in a dark room, reading peoples' facebook pages when I came across (in one particular friend's 'favorite music' section) Sarah Jarosz. Being, by nature, a curious sort of fellow, I said to myself: 'Hey! That's an interesting name!' I then clicked on the link to the lovely Ms. Jarosz's website (note: I don't have any basis to say whether she's actually lovely or not, since I'd (1) categorize that as a personality trait and (2) have never met her).

Upon the website loading into my browser (yay Firefox!), I saw that the headline item in the 'latest news' section was that Ms. Jarosz was going to perform on Prairie Home Companion on September 26. Being generally a non-Garrison-Keillor-loving sort of fellow - no offense to the man or the show, it just doesn't light me up the way it does some folks - I didn't take that as an encouraging sign that I would love her music. I pressed on, however, as I usually do - because, after all, anything's worth listening to once, right? (please don't kill me, sir... please...)

Anyways, all fear of Mr. T aside (he has a tank, you know... and so can you!) when I listened to Ms. Jarosz's music, I was pretty much blown away. There's an unusual level of virtuosity in her banjo playing (don't hold the instrument against her - she uses it well), and her voice is smooth as a velvet hand. While some of her songs - her cover of The Decemberists' 'Shankill Butchers', for example - are relatively unadorned, they never feel overly simplistic; and when, in other tracks, she chooses to go for a more multi-layered and fuller feel, the arrangements never overwhelm the songs, instead adding depth and color.

Take a listen! I think you'll like. All songs are from Ms. Jarosz's debut (and, so far, only) album, 'Song Up In Her Head', which dropped in June of this year. The album's available on Amazon and on iTunes, and you can preview every song on the music page of Ms. Jarosz's website.

Sarah Jarosz - Shankill Butchers

Sarah Jarosz - Song Up In Her Head

Sarah Jarosz - Broussard's Lament

Have a great Sunday afternoon, everyone!

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