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Barbed Wire
Sarah Pierce
Label: Little Bear Records
Review Date: November 22, 2015

Like great Americana music with true American roots?  Then you’ll love Barbed Wire.

Texas-based singer/songwriter Sarah Pierce’s new CD, Barbed Wire, was musically influenced by her family’s heritage in the cattle business. The album was recorded at The Cribworks Digital Audio in Liberty Hill, Texas, about 30 miles north of Austin. 

Joining Sarah Pierce (lead vocals and guitar) and Merel Bregante (drums) on the new album is an all-star cast of musicians, including special guests John McEuen on banjo (a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), world-class steel guitar player David Pearlman, plus two members of Reckless Kelly - Cody Braun on fiddle and mandolin and his brother, Reckless Kelly lead singer Willy Braun, who sings a beautiful duet with Sarah on a ballad they co-wrote, “I’m Sorry.” 

“Barbed Wire has been a long time coming,” admits Sarah in discussing the music on the new CD. “I think this is my most-honest writing and surely the closest I have ever come to having that which I imagine become reality. It definitely could be seen as a follow up to my autobiographical Cowboy’s Daughter CD. This one is absolutely ‘all cards on the table.’ That is what I love most about it ... having the courage to not chase anything, just write my songs, tell the truth, and let the chips fall where they may!”

Barbed Wire came to life after Sarah and her husband/producer/drummer Merel Bregante moved to the country. Bregante has a long and storied career as a musician, having recorded and toured for many years as a member of the legendary Loggins & Messina band, plus sessions and touring with a host of others including Chris Hillman, Pure Prairie League and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Sarah Pierce remembers when the inspiration for the title track and the theme for the new album became a reality: “One day, while clearing pasture, I came across an old rusted barbed wire fence. I did some research and found that it was manufactured by hand in 1876. I held it in my hand and thought ... this looks like me.” And then the lyric came to her: “Pounded metal in the shape of a shooting star. Trapped by three rusted wires ... kind of like my heart.” (“Barbed Wire,” ©2014, Lucylite Music – BMI)

The daughter of a cowboy and raised in a family of cattlemen, Sarah Pierce was born in Rockford, Illinois, and raised in rural West Texas. In the 6th grade she was kicked out of the children’s choir because she sang too low. She would later get on her horse and sing to the cattle in the fields, and as Pierce says, “They didn’t seem to mind.”

Sarah's dream of becoming a legitimate singer began to take shape at age 12, singing in her stepfather’s band.  Always studying voice, after receiving her masters degree in medical science she began her musical journey, one that continues today.

Sarah has toured hundreds of thousands of miles - both domestic and foreign - receiving rave reviews at fairs, festivals, conventions, and concert dates from New York City and Los Angeles to British Columbia, with stops in-between in France, Italy, Germany and Scandinavia, and plays countless shows in her home state of Texas as well. 

Her willingness to self-promote her music has included a driving tour of 250 NPR/AC/Country radio stations across the country, doing interviews and live on-air performances. In addition, she has been seen in performance on MTV and was heard as the singing voice of Calamity Jane on the Emmy-nominated Time-Life television mini-series, The Wild West.

With the release of her last album, Bring It On, and its first single, “Butterfly Tattoo,” going to #5 in the nation on Independent Country Charts, Sarah once again was able to show that she is a completely viable artist both commercially, and more importantly, creatively. All that has led up to the most-important release of her career, Barbed Wire.

If you or that music nut on your Christmas list loves great Americana, then Barbed Wire should be at the top of your list of music to buy.