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Though you may never have heard of it, Sarah Jarosz’s splendid sophomore release is one of last year’s best albums. She incarnates a new development in modern music that has been termed “classical bluegrass” or “chamber grass”.

All of 20 years old, this junior in college, who has trained at the New England Conservatory, plays enough instruments to be a one-woman acoustic string band. Her instrumental expertise is only matched by a lilting voice that complements her largely self-penned songs. And in her covers we discover melodic interpretations ranging from Radiohead’s “The Tourist” to Bob Dylan’s “Ring Them Bells” from his Christian phase.

Jarosz is a gem on the contemporary music scene. Her stunning “My Muse” is a testimony to her commitment. According to her online bio, she believes that “What’s most important is just trying to stay true to myself as an artist and be as original as I can.” Here is an American original not to be missed. (Sugar Hill)

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