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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

CD Review: Sara Milonovich - Daisycutter

Sara Milonovich - Daisycutter
2008, Sara Milonovich

I first became aware of Sara Milonovich during her stint as violinist for The McKrells, a Celtic/bluegrass band from Saratoga Springs, NY who were well-known on the Celtic music circuit and were legends locally. Milonovich always managed to exude an energetic and sweet stage presence while ripping it up on the violin. I never really got to hear her sing anything other than background vocals however. In the summer of 2008 Sara Milonovich released an EP in the Saratoga/Albany, NY region as a preview for an upcoming full-length album. The EP is called Daisycutter. It proves her status as an incredible Celtic/Country violin player but also introduces Milonovich as a capable vocalist and front-woman.

Country Life opens the set as a banjo driven, Celtic influenced country/rock tune. This tune was my first introduction to Milonovich as a lead vocalist and I have to say it's impressive. She has a rich, full sound that is pleasant to listen to but also carries an edge that can as easily be cutting or vulnerable, in turn. Fiona's Breakdown and Wither Canada allow Milonovich to show off her fiddle skills in amicable fashion. When Sara Milonovich is on her game she's in the same league as Natalie MacMaster on violin.

Last Dance is a gorgeous country ballad that will have you on the edge of your seat. Willie Taylor is an interesting turn. This Celtic tune mixes a dark violin bridge that sounds middle-eastern and also draws in jazz-style woodwinds. It's a stunning musical choice and works very well after the initial adjustment (of the listener). Northern Cross comes across as extremely personal; nearly confessional in Milonvich's rich alto. The most poignant and moving event on Daisycutter is the cover of Peter Gabriel's Here Comes The Flood. Sara Milonovich was born to sing this song, or so it would seem. Her rendition encompasses all of the loss and loneliness the song implies and is overpowering in its emotional weight. I should add that I sat and listened to this in the wake of the September 2008 fiscal crisis and so the song had an added poignancy.

Sara Milonovich is the sort of musician we love here at Wildy's World. Here is a small, incredibly talented independent artist plying her trade in a small market in the Northeast. The music and talent she brings to the world around her are more than worthy of the larger stages of Nashville, New York and LA (and all the stages/clubs between here and there). Milonovich is the sort of artist record execs should be lining up to sign (and she's far from the only one we've reviewed here thus far). Daisycutter is an amazing debut, and means we will anxiously anticipate the forthcoming full-length release. There's no doubt, Daisycutter is a Certified Wildy's World Desert Island Disc.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

If you want to learn more about Sara Milonovich check out The full length album will be released under the band name Daisycutter. If you’d like to pick up a copy of Sara’s hand produced EP, check out You won’t find the CD on their site, but they do sell it in the store. If you call them I am sure they’ll be happy to mail order a copy to you.

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