Sara Petite Roots Americana
Alternate Root   10/01/2010

Which spot on the map gets the nod when the term 'mountain music' pops up? You can probably trace Garden of Eden style first steps to somewhere in the Appalachians. Over time, the term and the sound land on the who is playing and not the where. Hearing Sara Petite could easily make you think she grew up down a dusty road near Butcher Holler. She called the Northwest home and Loretta came callin' in stereo speakers, not through the back gate. Sara and her twin sister fell in love with Loretta Lynn via the movie 'Coal Miner's Daughter'. Mom would get albums from the library and the young girls would perform for friends and family. She picked up not only voice inflections but a love of country music.

On her third album, 'Doghouse Rose', the twang meets the punch. A rock edge anchors the rhythms as bent and distorted riffs playfully float by while Sara's voices pushes through the tracks like a freight train barreling out of the Smokies. The title track brings the gift of warm harmonies and soft organ chords as much as the narrators outstretched hands offer up their doghouse rose. Ragged and raging beats allow tales of a last night on earth ("Promised Land"), getting out ("She's Gonna Fly"), giving in ("Baby Let Me") and how a girl makes a buck ("Bootlegger") move. Whenever Sara's voice comes in, it takes the spotlight. Rather than compete, producer Eddie Gore allows the instrumentation to be flashy without being pushy.Sara is not just a voice, however. The power of a vocal alone cannot drive a song enough to bring the listener back again. There needs to be that grab, songs that bring a smile, make you think or take you back to a real or imagined past. There is a joy in words and her characters on songs like "Crazy" and "Souvenirs" while an inside battle of conflicting emotions crackles the air on "Shouldn't be Doing This" and "Take What I Can Get". Whether it is the infectious draw of "Magnolia" or the mirror reflection in "Beautiful Thing", Sara's words share her feelings as much as match up with those of others. The stories are familiar, we have all either been there, wanted to be there or are on our way there.

The singer/songwriter joined The Alternate Root in Nashville along with mandolin player Steve Peavey for an acoustic set for Alternate Root TV. We've pulled together a video of 'Bootleggers' from that memorable session along with some selections from her latest album 'Doghouse Rose.' Enjoy the music and video in the player below and support independent musicians!

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