Sunday, July 10, 2011


Sarah Jarosz at The Hotel Cafe
Sarah Jarosz at The Hotel Cafe.
photograph by picksysticks

I don't listen to a lot of bluegrass. In fact, for the life of me, I couldn't even name a famous bluegrass singer. But if the music of Sarah Jarosz is what bluegrass sounds like, then sign me uSarah Jaroszp! During a recent sold-out performance, 20-year-old Jarosz captivated in her first Los Angeles show with her refreshing voice that blends traditional with a modern sound – a sound that has garnered her a Grammy nomination and rave reviews for her latest album, Follow Me Down. Recently named to Metromix's list of 25 Hottest Artists Under 25, Sarah's music is like a gentle breeze through a forest, untouched by the outside world, having that pristine feel to it, innocent and undisturbed. No auto-tuning nor any studio trickery to enhance instruments. What you see is what you get. Sarah's performance so awe-inspiring, at the end of her set, the crowd demanded an encore, something I've never seen done at The Hotel Cafe. Sarah has also taken to reshape popular songs such as Radiohead's "The Tourist," and Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" into a bluegrass inspired feel which she does successfully. Can we see a Sarah Jorosz covers album in the style of bluegrass in the future? We'll wait and see. Sarah is currently on her first UK tour, returning stateside in August.

Sarah Jarosz performs her Grammy nominated song, "Mansinneedof."

Annaliese performs at Hotel Cafe.
photo by picksysticks

People who left after Sarah Jarosz's performance surely missed a treat in Annaliese (aka: Annaliese Schiersch) who currently lives in Los Angeles but grew up in Seattle. Her voice weathered as though she's bled every single musical note, you just feel as if Annaliese has lived every moment of her songs. I wasn't familiar with her music but, soon after, rushed home and listened to her songs online. Her songs hauntingly beautiful like "Stay Gone" which was named Best Song of the Month last November by SongwriterUniverse. And her newest single, "Hold Me Steady" was recently featured in the Lifetime movie "Justice for Natalee Holloway" which you can listen below.


"Hold Me Steady" by Annaliese Schiersch.