Title - 'Bridges' (Cleopatra Records)
Artist - Mary Sarah & Friends
On her new album Bridges – just released this past July thru Cleopatra Records - 18 year-old singer/songwriter Mary Sarah duets with some of country music’s biggest names on 12 captivating songs.
Amazed by the Texas ingénue’s voice and talent, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Vince Gill, the Oak Ridge Boys, the late Ray Price and others all signed on to sing with Mary Sarah on their most iconic hits.
The album begins with ‘Jolene’ which features Sarah’s duet with none other than Dolly Parton herself. It has a fresh new bounce to it, a slightly faster pace then the original and with Parton acting more like background filler it allows Sarah to take vocal command. The dynamite ‘Crazy’ with Willie Nelson is a true highlight of this CD, that’s for sure. As much as Nelson can enhance any song he adds vocals to, this new version sparkles in all the right places.
Next up is the sit-and-sway or stand-and-sway addictive composition of ‘Heartaches By The Number,’ a duet with the late Ray Price. Then comes the funky twangin’ blues feel of ‘The Fightin’ Side Of Me’ (with Merle Haggard), ‘Texas (When I Die)’ (with Tanya Tucker, complete with a Detroit shout out!), and then the truly excellent ‘Go Rest High On That Mountain’ with immense guitar work and vocals from Vince Gill.
The vibrant and jolly ‘Rose Garden’ is next and features Lynn Anderson before blending directly into an incredible, massively incredible ‘Dream On’ featuring the experienced vocal quartet known as The Oak Ridge Boys. Wow, now this is what these albums were created for. Steady on those not tuned into the country style for this isn’t the Aerosmith song, sorry! Next up is Sarah’s duet with Ronnie Milsap on the inspirational ‘What A Difference You’ve Made In My Life’ and the album is brought to a close with a beautiful duet with Neil Sedaka on ‘Where The Boys Are.’
But wait, there’s more, as they say! Just when you were regretting that the album had come to an end those clever people at Cleopatra Records have added three new songs onto the disc. The first of the three is the delightful ‘My Great Escape’ with Big & Rich, the Merle Haggard-written ‘All I Want To Do Is Sing My Song’ with Freddy Powers, and then finally (this time) Sarah very own solo song, ‘I’m Sorry.’
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk