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Friday, August 26, 2011

Sarah Pierce - Bring It On

Sarah Pierce – Bring It On
2011, Little Bear Records
Sarah Pierce wasn’t born of the red dirt of Austin Texas, but like any convert, she was reborn in this great songwriting tradition after a visit there in the Fall of 1993.  Eight albums later, Pierce is a highly respected singer/songwriter who has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles and played her music for people all over the world.  But she always returns to her adopted home in Austin.  While Pierce’s voice may sound familiar from her singing performances as Calamity Jane on the Emmy-nominated TV mini-series The Wild West, Pierce truly comes alive when on-stage, guitar in hand, performing works written from her own heart.  Pierce sets out to tell the world a story once again on her most recent album, Bring It On.

Pierce gets things started with the title track.  “Bring It On” is an Americana/rock soliloquy from a strong woman who is willing to consider any man who can prove he’s worth her time.  It’s a catchy number with a memorable chorus, with the potential to become an anthem for the single set.  “Butterfly Tattoo” explores a modern day symbol of love and eternal devotion.  Pierce’s voice is eminently listenable, slipping over your ears like a comfortable wrap on a cold winter’s day.  “Cowgirls Ride” gets down to more of a traditional red dirty country sound.  It’s a solid album track full of songwriting fundamentals. 

“It’s Not Enough” is a promissory love song that aims high.  The gentle country ballad is sweet and solid, with Piece practicing subtle poetry in the margins.  Piece settles in for a subtle, even ride that holds forth for much of Bring It On. This could almost become monotonous if not for Piece’s adeptness at stringing listeners along with a lyrical style that keeps you turning with subtle surprises.  Piece does hit some high notes in the process however.  “Twenty Dollar Silver Ring” is a well-written story song about love for love’s sake.  It’s the best pure songwriting on the album, and seems like the sort of song that other artists will be likely to pick up and cover as time goes on.  “You Make Me Love Being In Love” has the sort of chorus you walk away humming to yourself, and find recurring in your mind for days afterward.

“I Ride” marks the deep bond between rider and horse; a friendship that is utilitarian but grows over time into something more.  “Pearl Handle .44” is a Greek Tragedy, country style. About a lawmen and his betrothed to wind up on opposite sides of the law.  The message is that love can’t overcome nature, and the songwriting is superb.  Pierce closes with the mild “May Peace Find You Tonight”, a solid goodnight.

Sarah Pierce follows the gentle rhythms of life and love throughout Bring It On, singing from a quiet repose the tales of love and darkness that intertwine the lives of people real and imagined.  Musically, the album is solid, but Pierce’s voice and distinctly subtle lyrical style pay rewards to those who listen closely.  Bring It On will grow on you with successive listens, but is subtle enough to get by those who aren’t paying attention.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Sarah Piece at or Bring It On is available from Pierce’s webstore.

1 comment:

merel bregante said...

thank you for a most thoughtful and I believe quite accurate review. It is nice to read a piece written by someone who has actually taken the time to listen rather than simply regurgitating an, most times, out of date biography.

I am honored to work with Sarah as she is absolutely the real deal. Thanks again for your time and kind words.


Merel Bregante - musician, engineer, producer
Sarah Pierce Music
Austin, Texas
September 8th, 2011