I’ve been vaguely aware of Sarah Jarosz for a few years. She is the kind of musician that I think of when I say that this is a great time for music. Of course, I say that as a lament, because as popular as she is, she’s not one of the many American Idol shriekers and autotuned adolescent cuties that America apparently just can’t get enough of. And I know: I’m part of the problem. I’m still more likely to listen to French music from the 50s and 60s or American blues from the 1930s. But Jarosz is a huge talent, and she’s only 23—an age at which I was walking around with a puppet on a stick. (In my defense, walking around with a puppet on a stick is a far more creative and idiosyncratic thing than most people ever do—made especially so given that it seemed entirely normal to me at the time.)
My colleague over at The Reaction, Richard Barry, has started a new blog, Cultur-olio. It’s actually kind of cool, although personally I wish he would focus a bit more on music, because he is very knowledgeable. I find I learn things from him or at least get new perspectives. And I need more politics like I need yet another hole in my head. Although I’m like Ado Annie in Oklahoma! “I Can’t Say No.” Moving on…
So recently, Richard brought my attention to this great version of Sarah Jarosz’s “Annabelle [sic] Lee.” She takes great liberty with Poe’s words, but she perfectly captures the effect of the poem. The essence of the poem is the repetition of “Annabel Lee.” As a poem, I don’t actually think that much of it. Of all of his poetry, it is the thing that seems most intended to be set to music, because it is casual in its structure, and (frankly) is immature in its content. Anyway, I think Poe would approve. This is a more stylized version of the single from her Album, Follow Me Down.
I await her version of “Eulalie.”