If you’ve seen any of my music-related comments, there’s a decent chance that you’ve seen me mention Sarah Harmer. She’s a Canadian singer-songwriter who started out in an alt-country band called The Saddletramps in the late 80s, then an alt-rock band called Weeping Tile in the 90s. In 1998, she recorded her first solo album, Songs For Clem. It was originally a gift for her father, and included a bunch of standards (Black Coffee, Stormy Weather, Sentimental Journey), a few country classics (Your Cheatin’ Heart, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Tennessee Waltz), and my favorite song of hers, a cover of Nanci Griffith’s “Trouble In The Fields”. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking.
She later released Songs For Clem in 1999.
In 2000 she released You Were Here, my absolute favorite album of hers. It’s one of those albums that hit me at exactly the right time. Each song flows nicely into the next, and it was definitely my soundtrack for the early 2000s. “Lodestar” is the highlight for me.
She followed that up with 2004’s All Of Our Names (“Dandelions In Bullet Holes” is the highlight), then I’m A Mountain, released in Canada in November 2005 and the U.S. in February 2006 (“The Ring” is my personal favorite from this album). In 2010 she released Oh Little Fire (“Silverado,” a duet with Neko Case, is the highlight.) And then, well, she took some time off from music. She spent most of the 2010s as an environmental activist.
Finally, last year, she made it back to the studio, and on February 21, she released Are You Gone. I’m still absorbing it (don’t get me wrong, I think it’s really good), so for now I’ll give you “New Low” as my favorite song, but that’s subject to change.
It’s a call to action, and definitely sounds like it was written by someone who’s spent most of the past decade fighting for environmental causes.
She’s going on tour this year, but sadly for me, there are currently no shows scheduled anywhere near the southeastern U.S.
Anyway, don’t forget about the Weekly Shuffle Thread around Noon EST, and I’ll be putting up the 100 Favorite Songs post this Sunday afternoon, so get your lists ready. (Spoiler: Trouble In The Fields is on my list.) And this probably goes without saying, but cat pictures are always welcome.
Be excellent to each other.