Sara Grey, one of the most gifted and knowledgeable artists working
in the field of traditional music, presents Back in the Airly Days,
a splendid collection of rare folk songs, clawhammer banjo tunes,
and humorous "Down- East" stories learned from her father. Sara
Grey's singing is both powerful and sweet, with a distinctive and
lovely tremolo. It is a voice well suited to native American songs
and ballads of Ireland and Scotland.
"She is one of a select band of performers who still breathe
life into traditional ballads." Vic Smith, Folk Roots
"An evening in her company is akin to sitting in a friend's
kitchen, drinking her wine and sharing her songs and stories. When
it comes to an end, you feel at peace with the world." M.
"Sara Grey has quietly and powerfully taken over the mantle
of premier interpreter of American traditional music." Tor
Highlights of the recording include "A Tale Of The Airly Days,"
a poem by Indiana folk poet James Whitcombe Riley, set to music
by Carl Jones; "The Pinery Boys," a kaleidoscopic account of loggers'
daily lives, collected in Wisconsin in 1941; "The Cranberry Song,"
another work-related piece; an unaccompanied version of "William
Hall," a broken token song collected in Beech Mountain, NC; and
"Loch Maree," learned from Donald MacAskill of Scotland's Isle of
Ellen Christenson (formerly of the Kossoy Sisters), Joan Sprung,
Irene Salatan, and the project's artistic director Pete Sutherland
join on vocal harmonies, with folk stalwart Jeff Davis adding guitar,
fiddle and mandocello parts.
Sara grew up in New Hampshire but has lived in North Carolina,
Ohio, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wales, Scotland
and England. As a youngster in North Carolina she developed a love
for old time songs and banjo music. She cites Kyle Creed as the
chief influence on her understated, syncopated clawhammer banjo
style. She has now been performing professionally for more than
30 years. Grey has previous recordings on Folk Legacy, Fellside