Sierra Ferrell

REVIEW: Sierra Ferrell “Long Time Coming”


Sierra Ferrell – Long Time Coming

Gypsy jazz, western swing, old time, and country all come together in a swirl of delight on Sierra Ferrell’s Rounder Records debut Long Time Coming out August 20. After carving a niche for her sound while “living in her van and busking on the streets of New Orleans and Seattle,” Ferrell found her way to Rounder for her formal introduction to the Americana music scene after moving to Nashville.

With a voice as beguiling as the West Virginian holler of her birth and hint of Karen Dalton’s mystical drawl, Sierra Ferrell is at once vibrantly fresh and timeless. “I want my music to be like my mind is—all over the place,” says Ferrell. The album was recorded at Southern Ground and Minutia studios in Nashville. A group of bluegrass’s elite pickers including Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Chris Scruggs, Sarah Jarosz, Billy Strings, and Dennis Crouch helped bring Ferrell’s vision to life. With one foot planted firmly in tradition and another full of spunk and mischief, Long Time Coming presents Ferrell as the master of her mysterious domain at once a siren and a muse.

Her siren’s spell unfurls quickly on album’s gypsy jazz intoned opener “The Sea” as Ferrell’s draws her listeners deeper into her hypnotic home beneath the waves accompanied by bowed saw. Traditional bluegrass shines through on “Jeremiah” which finds Ferrell chastising a man for broken promises, “oh Jeremiah…you forgot about sweet Sue and the promises you said you’d do.” Ferrell’s time in New Orleans makes itself known on “At the End of the Rainbow” – a bourbon street influenced romp replete with tuba, bittersweet trombone, and bountiful joy.

“Silver Dollar” leans into the rich tradition of fiddle tunes while “Far Away Across the Sea” mixes elements of flamenco and Tejano music into tale of a hopeless romantic’s love lost. “Far away across the sea, my true love he don’t think of me, I send him letters but they return back to my door,” Sierra nearly sighs. “Why’d Ya Do It” continues to blend international sounds into an Americana masterpiece in the hands of seasoned studio and stage veterans. “Give It Time” and the album closer, “Whispering Waltz,” place Ferrell firmly back on her dark, mysterious, and beautiful West Virginia’s backroads.

Long Time Coming is an amazing debut for a talent so young. Ferrell navigates the emotional and musical terrain before with the grace and purpose of an artist typically further down the road of their creative journey. Here’s hoping this is just the beginning of a long and fruitful career for Ferrell; Americana and roots music will be better off for it.









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