peace (1K)
Sarah Harmer - I'm a Mountain

I'm a Mountain

Sarah Harmer


Zoe Records
One Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Roberta B. Schwartz

Sarah Harmer is a breath of fresh air on the independent music scene, where one girl with guitar sounds only slightly different from the next. She's got a crystal clear alto with hints of Maria Muldaur and Emmylou Harris, but there's no mistaking that this unique voice is all her own.

Hailing from the farm country of Canada's southern Ontario, Harmer's music is a mix of folk, country and bluegrass.

What makes Harmer special is that she has a knack for taking the well-worn traditions of bluegrass and country, and turning them completely inside out. She writes music and lyrics that sound completely fresh, contemporary and new. Take I Am Aglow, for example. Here is a song about someone who is being deceived and clearly knows it. Rather than wallow in pain and suffering, the song's protagonist basks in the light of one who makes her feel "aglow":
I am aglow with thoughts of you
Are the stories that you told me true?
It doesn't matter if they are
They are to me, I am aglow

Goin' Out" is an adult lullaby, filled with lovely, dreamy, complex thoughts and images. Harmer's expressive voice lulls us to sleep, and to visions of what the next day might bring. Her father, Alan Clement Harmer, adds just the right tone on harmony vocals. And Luther Wright adds a distinctive banjo to the mix.

Harmer's southern Ontario homeland is under threat of destruction from the industry that develops sources of sand, gravel and shale. She wrote Escarpment Blues and much of the material on I'm a Mountain to express her love of the land and her desire to protect it. The beautiful melody and the thoughtfully written lyrics elevate this tune far above the usual protest song. This one soars.

The delightful children's song, Salamandre, sung completely in French, finds a place here in its celebration of the small amphibian and its connection to the natural world.

Like opening a beautifully wrapped gift on Christmas Eve, Sarah Harmer's music brings magic and the thrill of finding something wonderful and new. I'm a Mountain is something special. Take a listen and enjoy.

Track List:

  • The Ring
  • I am Aglow
  • Oleander
  • I'm a Mountain
  • Goin' Out
  • Will He be Waiting for Me? (Dolly Parton)
  • Escarpment Blues
  • The Phoenix
  • Salamandre (Kate Fenner & Chris Brown)
  • Luther's Got the Blues (Luther Wright)
  • How Deep in the Valley
All songs written by Sarah Harmer except where noted.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2006, Peterborough Folk Music Society and Roberta B. Schwartz.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

Fame LogoReturn to FAME Reviews
Return to FAME Home Page

Return to Home Page

Page design by David N. Pyles