Song Up in Her Head

Song Up in Her Head

by Sarah Jarosz


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Seventeen years old and already turning the heads of critics, producers, and session musicians alike, Sarah Jarosz is not only a jaw-dropping talent but a multidimensional one, as well. Her voice is clear and sweet, her mandolin playing has been good enough for long enough that she has memories of jamming on-stage with David Grisman and Ricky Skaggs at age twelve, and she plays guitar and clawhammer banjo as well. Oh, and she also writes songs -- really, really good ones. Her debut is not a bluegrass album, though it seems likely that it will end up in that section of the CD store. The songs are all originals, except for covers of the Decemberists' "Shankill Butchers" and Tom Waits' "Come on Up to the House." Some of her original compositions sound remarkably ancient, such as the vinegary and modal "Tell Me True"; others are bitingly topical, such as "Broussard's Lament" -- a song that, for all its indirectness, can only be intended as a sharp commentary on the government's bungling of the rescue and recovery effort following Hurricane Katrina. Her instrumental compositions are complex but sweetly lovely, and her twin-mandolin interplay with Mike Marshall on "Mansinneedof" is especially impressive in both its pleasant accessibility and its mature sophistication. Her acoustic arrangement of "Come on Up to the House" expresses all of the original's bluesy swagger but tempers it with a more refined sense of Southern hospitality. Truth be told, she comes close to jumping the shark on "Broussard's Lament." But if that's as close as she comes to a misstep on her debut album, then Sarah Jarosz has a long and exceptionally promising career ahead of her.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/16/2009
Label: Sugarhill
UPC: 0015891404929
catalogNumber: 14049
Rank: 48542

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sarah Jarosz   Primary Artist,Guitar,Mandolin,Piano,Vocals,Claw Hammer Banjo,Toy Piano,Vocal Harmony
Jerry Douglas   Dobro,Slide Guitar
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle,Zither,Fretless Banjo
Byron House   Bass
Kenny Malone   Percussion
Mike Marshall   Mandolin,Mandocello
Tim O'Brien   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Mark Schatz   Bass
Darrell Scott   Vocals,national steel guitar,Guitar (Resonator),Vocal Harmony
Chris Thile   Mandolin,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Tim Lauer   Synthesizer,Piano
Sarah Siskind   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Ben Sollee   Cello
Aoife O'Donovan   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Abigail Washburn   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Luke Reynolds   Pedal Steel Guitar,Electronic Mandolin
Chris Eldridge   Guitar
Alex Hargreaves   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Kathleen Brennan   Composer
Gary Paczosa   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Wayne Brezinka   Illustrations
Colin Meloy   Composer
Sarah Jarosz   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Thomas a Waits   Composer

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Song Up in Her Head 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
lobo_414 More than 1 year ago
Sarah Jarosz's debut album is outstanding. The quality of her songwriting is downright amazing--even more amazing when you consider that Broussard's Lament was written when she was 14 or 15, right after Hurricane Katrina hit. Her musicianship on the mandolin, guitar, banjo and octave mandolin is awesome, as are the studio musician, some of whom are even younger than Jarosz. Her voice is much more mature than her age (18 at the time when the record was made) would hint. The album is solid from beginning to end and explores more genres than just bluegrass with hints of folk and maybe a little bit of rock with influences of Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell. In conclusion, this is one of the best debut albums I've seen in a while and would be just as good from anyone at any age, but is even better when you do consider her young age.