Sarah Pirkle's Anticipated Debut Runs From Bluegrass to Southern Rock

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Sarah Pirkle

Walking Tall Through High Grass

It’s hard to believe that Walking Tall Through High Grass is Sarah Pirkle’s first solo album, and not just because she’s been such a familiar figure on the local scene for so long that you just assumed she’d recorded on her own by now. Walking Tall is a quietly powerful album spanning rural folk traditions, from straight-up country (“I’ll Be There”) and bluegrass to gospel and Southern rock (“Battle on the Field of Love”). The usual effect of such a broad reach is a watered-down kind of folk rock; here, Pirkle—with backing from her husband, Jeff Barbra, and a handful of area roots aces—bends each form to match her strong voice, which gives the whole range a sense of clear-eyed focus.

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