Live: Sarah Jarosz at Green Note.

Sarah Jarosz has just completed a stint on the Transatlantic Sessions tour, sharing the stage with high profile names of the folk/country scene including Shawn Colvin and Tim O’Brien. The artists performed in prestigious venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, on the south bank of the Thames. Tonight, however, she’s crossed to the other side of the river for a solo show and vaulted the spectrum of venues from concert hall to tiny bar, courtesy of the Green Note in north London’s Camden Town writes Imelda Michalczyk.

Sarah Jarosz at The Green Note in London on 10 February 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

Sarah Jarosz at The Green Note in London on 10 February 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

This is the second of two shows at the venue, which had both sold out well in advance. Jarosz steps up to the microphone, having attentively watched the entire support set, by Luke Jackson, from the audience. The new album’s title track Build Me Up From Bones and the haunting 1,000 Things from the same record form the centrepiece of the show, surrounded by earlier songs including Gypsy, Tell Me True and Annabelle Lee.

Sarah Jarosz at The Green Note in London on 10 February 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

Sarah Jarosz at The Green Note in London on 10 February 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

She effortlessly demonstrates her musical prowess by swapping between guitar, banjo and mandolin and even throws in a solo instrumental track, which does nothing to diminish the attentiveness of the audience. Meanwhile, a cover of Paul Simon’s Kathy’s Song and Bob Dylan’s Ring Them Bells throws a nod to her inspirations.

Her powerful voice and strong musicianship give the performance a relaxed and confident feel, whilst her friendly chat between songs maintains a warmth between audience and performer.

Sarah Jarosz at The Green Note in London on 10 February 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

Sarah Jarosz at The Green Note in London on 10 February 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

Much has been made of Jarosz’s youthfulness – she’s still only in her early-twenties – yet, as she tells me before the show, she’s been performing for audiences for about a decade, beginning with shows roughly the same size as tonight’s back in her native Texas. That probably explains how she’s had enough time to get a grip on nerves, although her obvious talent as a singer and musician must also play a major part in her accomplished and assured performances.

I suspect that chances to catch her perform at such small, intimate venues as this one is likely to become a rare treat, as her audience deservedly expands. Just before she bids us goodbye she says she’ll be back in the UK in the summer for more shows. It probably won’t be the Green Note, but it almost certainly will be a treat worth catching.

Sarah spoke to Imelda before the gig and here is the interview:

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Review by Imelda Michalczyk on 10 February 2014, London. Imelda is a great photographer and journalist and her own right and her website is here:

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