Sierra Ferrell – Trail Of Flowers (Rounder Records) (Album Review)

Sierra Ferrell is ‘feeling nostalgic for the past, but excited about the future’ on her new album, Trail Of Flowers.

This is the 4th long player for the 35-year-old West Virginia native and her second to be released by Rounder.

Sierra FerrellFerrell’s previous record, 2021’s Long Time Coming, garnered rave reviews, including here at The 13th Floor so hopes are high for the follow-up and, I’m happy to say, Sierra does not disappoint.

Trail Of Flowers sounds like the culmination of hard work and determination that began with Sierra’s first self-released album a decade ago.

Recorded at Sound Emporium in Nashville and produced by Eddie Spears (Jack White, Cody Jinks, Rival Sons) Ferrell and her team…including multi-instrumentalist Seth Taylor and string man Billy Contreras have taken her music to the next level. Yes, there are elements of bluegrass and classic country, but tracks like album opener American Dreaming and Dollar Bill Bar prove that Sierra has more in store for us than country music clichés.

Sure there is a token murder ballad in the form of Rosemary and even a bit of yodelling to go along with it, but elsewhere Farrell pushes the boundaries ever so gently such as the stomping Fox Hunt which trucks along at breakneck speed and the cover of Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith’s Chittlin’ Cookin’ Time in Cheatham Country that drags the 1930’s tune out of the St James Infirmary and into the 21st century.

But the real revelation here is Farrell’s own songwriting. On I Could Drive You Crazy, the protagonist brags, “she’ll blow out your birthday candles and steal your cake”. Sure she’ll show up hours late, but she’ll make the wait worth it.

On Dollar Bill Bar she warns, “Just think twice before you pony up…’cause I’m telling you, you’re better off alone.”

Yep, Sierra Ferrell has got attitude to spare, but she’s also got the talent to back it up. Do yourself a favour and jump on the Sierra Ferrell bandwagon and enjoy the ride.

Marty Duda

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