Music Reviews
Sierra Ferrell

Sierra Ferrell

Trail of Flowers

Rounder Records

It was a clear-cut case of love at first sight — when I wandered recently into the private back room at my go-to East Coast Florida record shop. Fully aware of my personal musical freak-ons, my “dealer” had a little surprise stashed away for me. “Dude, you’re gonna love this,” she assured me with a sly wink, as she passed me the fabulous-looking pink and blue marble 12-inch vinyl slab. With Olympian-like reflexes, she then cued up a track on her pocket Google machine, posthaste. I was sold in less than six seconds. Truth be told, she had me at the pink and blue marble vinyl.

The story is riveting: a young, aspiring West Virginia-born singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist flees her humdrum trailer-park life to travel the country in her van. She quickly hones her skills with other like-minded nomadic musicians while hanging out in truck stops, hitchhiking, and hopping boxcars from coast to coast. After digging out from under the darkness of drug addiction, Sierra Ferrell finally lands in Nashville, establishing herself as a ferocious, no-holds-barred Americana artist with an impressive growing body of work. Fast forward — her latest record, Trail of Flowers, arrived in stores earlier this year.

Sierra Ferrell
Bobbi Rich
Sierra Ferrell

Recorded primarily at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studios and produced by Eddie Spear (Zach Bryan, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton) and Gary Paczosa (Alison Krauss, Dwight Yoakam, Gillian Welch), the authentic 12-track roots collection reaches from spirited bluegrass to traditional country to down-and-dirty honky-tonk.

“With this record, I wanted to make a fuller sound with bigger drums, but still stay true to the stripped-down feel of old-time music whenever it felt right,” says Ferrell. “I wanted to create something that makes people feel nostalgic for the past, but excited about the future of music.”

Trail of Flowers checks all the boxes for those of us who crave intoxicating melodies woven into compelling, well-crafted stories and electro-shocked with down-home delights: fiddles, banjo, lap steel, and harmonica.

In addition to the irresistible opening track, “American Dreaming,” the album owns additional standout heart-stoppers, including the sunny and twangy “Dollar Bill Bar,” the legit fiddle fest “I Could Drive You Crazy,” the circa ‘68-sounding “Why Haven’t You Loved Me Yet,” and the Van Lear-flavored “Lighthouse.” However, my personal pick of the litter is “Wish You Well” — one of the most honest, pure, and loving heartbreak songs I’ve heard in a very (very) long time.

Sierra Ferrell’s uniquely authentic then-meets-now musical style feels springtime fresh. Add to the mix her Minnie Pearl-meets-Lady Gaga fashion sensibility, and you get an exciting artist who’s blowing up — HUGE. In sum, Trail of Flowers: come for the pink and blue marble vinyl — stay for the magical songs.

Sierra Ferrell, Trail of Flowers (Track List)

SIDE ONE

  1. American Dreaming (Ferrell, Walker) – 4:16

  1. Dollar Bill Bar (Ferrell, Walker) – 3:28

  1. Fox Hunt (Ferrell) – 3:15

  1. Chittlin’ Cookin’ Time in Cheatham County (Smith) – 3:00

  1. Wish You Well (Ferrell) – 3:37

  1. Money Train (Ferrell) – 2:40

SIDE TWO

  1. I Could Drive You Crazy (Ferrell) – 3:35

  1. Why Haven’t You Loved Me Yet (Ferrell) – 2:14

  1. Rosemary (Ferrell) – 3:35

  1. Lighthouse (Ferrell, Lou) – 3:38

  1. I’ll Come Off the Mountain (Ferrell) – 1:43

  1. No Letter (Ferrell) – 2:21

sierraferrellmusic.com


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