Sarah Pierce, “Barbed Wire”


Once I saw a quote saying, “Cowgirls are like barbed wire…handle with care.” For a cowgirl from Texas that might describe Sarah Pierce. Releasing her ninth album, Sarah feels the connection. While clearing a field, Sarah found a rusted old barbed wire. “I held it in my hand and thought…this is like me.” If Sarah is barbed wire, then her new album, Barbed Wire fits as a perfect pair of cowgirl boots. Barbed Wire is nothing more, nothing less than country and western. For Sarah, it’s heavy on the western and light on the country. Some call it Americana Country. Whatever we call it, Barbed Wire captures the genre keeping the folksy Scotch-Irish music alive.

Sarah opens with a nice intro to the song, “Small Town.” Her strong alto voice is perfect for this piece making her 6th grade chorus teacher have regrets from kicking her out of chorus. A footnote, Sarah’s teacher dropped her from 6th grade chorus because her voice was too low. Regardless how ridiculous that was, it didn’t seem to keep this cowgirl down. By age twelve, she was singing in her step dad’s band.

Back to the album, the mandolins used in most of the tracks give the songs a quiet bluegrass sound. But, in the title track, “Barbed Wire,” the mandolin is especially noticeable. I love the line in “Barbed Wire,” “I’m weathered, twisted, and I’m dangerous as hell.” Sarah expresses herself well.

“See You In The Morning” is another track I like. Sarah went to her dad’s church one Sunday when she realized that her dad attended church every day. Out on the range, “as the sun came up, he bowed this head.” The ending is bittersweet, but it’s a well-written song.

“I’m Sorry” is another favorite, a song of regret as Sarah sings a duet with Willy Braun. Their voices blend well. “Mackerel Sky” is another well-written piece as she looks for the ideal life, “not long wet not long dry.”

The last track, “I Don’t Give My Heart” is a piece that is closer to classic country without the western, if that exist. It’s a good ending to a good album.

Sarah and her husband, Merel Bregante, have put together an album that is an honest look at their lives and music. As Sarah says, “Barbed Wire tells the truth.” Stealing a line from the Blues Brothers movie, Barbed Wire shows two kinds of music, “country and western.” I’m JR Miller with High Note Reviews, and this is Sarah Pierce as though she is Barbed Wire.


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