It’s incredible to think that this is multi instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz’s second album. Follow Me Down is the follow up to her 2009 debut Song Up In Her Head. Clearly a prodigious talent, she has the maturity to surround herself with exquisite musicians to help her deliver a fantastic album. Not only has she a sweet voice that could melt the heart of an axe murderer, she weighs in on claw hammer banjo and mandolin, oh and she’s still only 19.
I would imagine that true fans of traditional bluegrass and folk are concerned at the way Sarah Jarosz is edging her unique take on folk Americana toward the mainstream. It’s as if the bluegrass and folk scene has been in slumber for decades and Ms Jarosz has came along and dragged it kicking and screaming.
There are some really interesting covers on here as she is joined by the Punch Brothers on Radiohead’s The Tourist, not the easiest of songs to interpret but it’s given an even more melodramatic twist and Dylan’s Ring Them Bells shines gloriously.
She’s no slouch on the song writing front herself. Her own songs are great, Come Around allows her natural voice to meander and sway with confidence and there’s a sweet haunting quality to My Muse and an effortless grace to Gypsy.
Off on a tangent, I’d love to hear her interpretations of other artists. Might be worth a shot, have her do an album of covers by The Stoogies, Nirvana, Beck, Sonic Youth, Primal Scream, Kings of Leon and maybe the odd Kinks cover? Maybe not. What do I know? Follow Me Down is a very polished and accomplished album and I see she actually co-produced as well. Some people are just so talented it makes you sick.
Review by Charlie Brown