A somewhat simplistic way to sum up the sound of a particular artist is to simply compare them to another band and just leave it at that. There’s comfort in familiarity when it comes to describing music in that way, and it helps casual listeners weed out what they may or may not like. Sometimes bands make it really easy to do so as well, and sometimes hype up that aspect of their sound to break ground through commonalities. Once in a while, though, a band breaks through with a sound that can only be described as their own; a sum of their influences to the point of total uniqueness, and fearlessly setting the bar when it comes to sonic diversity, talent, and passion.
Sarah & The Wild Versatile have played consistently since 2015, and have shared the stage with an incredibly wide range of artists. From Booker T. Jones and members of Parliament/Funkadelic to Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, it’s hard to imagine a band that can be so skillfully diverse as to play with such a wide range of genre-staple artists. Their newest offering, “Fall Into Grace,” serves as a welcoming lesson on the matter, and each track on the album stands strong on its own but, together, forms a cohesive repertoire of sound that serves as a near-flawless musical resume that is as fun as it is spontaneous.
….each track on the album stands strong on its own but, together, forms a cohesive repertoire of sound that serves as a near-flawless musical resume that is as fun as it is spontaneous…
The sprawling and catchy opening “Should’ve Known” serves as a perfect palate cleanser for the album that is to follow. Building up from silence to an excellent soundscape, this track truly highlights the talent of the group as a whole while Sarah Seminski’s voice serves as a powerful glue that keeps the track cohesive and great. Songs like “Hands To The Sky” and “Kristine” keep this theme strong, but at a faster and dancier pace, not only showing the range and skill of Sarah’s voice, but also the well-tempered discipline of the band. Throughout, Derek Hayden’s drumming shines as some of the strongest drumming I’ve heard in ages, while Eric Reardon’s excellent guitar-work matches Sarah’s range and, at serves more like a back-up vocalist than an instrument. The secret weapons on this album, though, are Derek Dupuis’ keyboard playing and Steve Burke’s bass playing. Combined, they give the music on Fall Into Grace an incredible sheen that makes it sound almost timeless; had I not know this album came out in 2017, I would have assumed it was a long-lost gem from the 70s. It’s hard to pick favorites, but one of the finest examples of Sarah & The Wild Versatile’s talent comes in the form of “Sherman’s March”; a seven minute epic that blurs genre lines to the point where it honestly stands on it’s own as a tour-de-force. Each of the member’s unique skills are showcased on this track in ways that are hard to explain in a mere review.
August, 2016. Sarah and the Wild Versatile made a LIVE performance video of their song “LET YOU GO.” A studio version of this tune appears on their upcoming album to be released Fall, 2016. LET YOU GO written and performed by SARAH AND THE WILD VERSATILE. (c) 2016 all rights reserved.
Sarah and The Wild Versatile return to The Lizard Lounge to deliver their latest full length CD synergizing rock, soul, blues and jazz with contemporary, experimental flavors. Singer/songwriter and Producer Jesse Ciarmataro, aka Qwill, leads his group the Qwill Ensemble, mixing ambient textures, with electronic inspired grooves to create an avant-garde approach to the future of soul music.
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