Mary Sarah is loaded with talent and could easily become the next big thing in country music!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Pop country annoys me, guys with big cowboy hats that come from Rhode Island singing about life on the farm. Traditional country seems to be suffering the same fate as the blues as the legends are now passing one by one. 18 year old Mary Sarah finds that musical happy place between pop and traditional country with spunk, sass and sincerity and the end result is an impressive release in Bridges. Duets with icons such as Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Vince Gill can only help the young vocalist raise her game to the next level as a performer of note.
There is a feathery tone to the voice of Mary Sarah which I'll chalk up to age. There is the ability to knock out a song well beyond her years such as the duet with Vince Gill "Go Rest High On That Mountain" which I will chalk up to raw talent. Bridges is one of those releases that for the most part reviews itself as Mary Sarah bangs out some memorable tunes such as "Crazy" with Willie Nelson and "Dream On" with The Oak Ridge Boys. There are only a couple of bumps in the road here and they do no real harm as "Where The Boys Are" with Neil Sedaka is a tune that is not only out of place but never seems to move to that magical melodic place that one might expect.
Mary Sarah does an admirable job holding her own with Dolly Parton on "Jolene" and oddly enough the Merle Haggard classic "The Fightin' Side of Me" is literally reinvented thanks to the young singer. There are no certainties in the music business. Discovered on You Tube by The Oak Ridge Boys and scheduled to do a little road work with them, Mary Sarah is right on the edge of breaking big. Will she? I'll put some money on the youth of today. Talent wins out every time!
Tracks: Jolene (w/ Dolly Parton); Crazy (w/ Willie Nelson); Heartaches By The Number (w/ Ray Price); The Fightin' Side Of Me (w/ Merle Haggard); Texas (w/ Tanya Tucker); Go Rest High On That Mountain (w/ Vince Gill); Rose Garden (w/ Lynn Anderson); Dream On (w/ Oak Ridge Boys); What A Difference You've Made In My Life (w/ Ronnie Milsap); Where The Boys Are (w/ Neil Sedaka).