Sara Banleigh – The Road Not Forgotten
Ms. Banleigh’s debut EP is an excellent starting point for what will hopefully be a long and beautifully creative career that this armchair music lover will savour for decades to come. The Celtic soul oozes out of the very pores of each song in this five song spellbinder. While piano is not the first instrument I think of in considering this genre, it is somehow perfect for a good first taste of this artist’s work. It speaks of the twists and turns she will surely take in surprising both critic and fan as she charts her course in this 21st century. I have a strong premonition she will occasionally return in one form or another to this “roots” type sound as she forges ahead on her path not yet revealed, but surely anticipated.
The Folk EP (March 01, 2011) — The Folk EP offers a fresh and spellbinding journey through this ancient genre of music. this beloved, age-old music, which has until now primarily been recorded on guitar and other stringed instruments. The songs, which have survived through oral tradition in Northern Europe and in the United States, where they came over with English and Irish settlers, are centered around the most powerful and elemental themes of the human experience: love, despair, beauty, longing, death, and betrayal.
The Folk EP was recorded over two intensive days at Parkwest Studios in Brooklyn, NY, not very far from where Sara’s conception of an album of traditional folk music supported by piano-based arrangements led her to Parkwest, where studio owner and engineer Jim Clouse maintains an excellent 20’ Kawai grand piano.
Although Sara has worked with different artists and styles, from indie pop to electronica, both on stage and in the studio, she has decided to make her debut EP a collection of melodic, highly narrative British and Irish folk tunes because these are the songs that lived most strongly in her heart. Regarding her clean, straightforward name for the album, Sara says the following: “I decided to call the album ‘The Folk EP’ because I know that I will go on to other genres and projects in my career, but I am so proud and so settled in myself to make my debut as an artist with a folk album such as this. I find the traditional music of Ireland and the British Isles to be among the most beautiful, haunting, and magical in the world, and the darkness and light in the material has helped me mature as a singer and artist – it’s given me a way to anchor my soul while the world shook around me, and I am thankful to the songs for this. They suffered for me, so I didn’t have to as much.
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