....Review from Alan Cackett; Editor of Maverick magazine UK.
Songwriter poised to make the breakthrough to international recognition as a major recording artist
Like Nanci Griffith, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Mindy Smith and Allison Moorer, Sally Barris doesn’t easily fit into the country genre, but is one of the most talented writers currently working in Nashville. Over the past few years she’s had cuts by Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack, Kathy Mattea, Jessi Alexandra, Kate MacKenzie and more recently Trisha Yearwood. RESTLESS SOUL is Sally’s third album and leaves her first two CDs in the dust. It sounds somewhat more mainstream than its predecessors, but a lot of that has to do with how eclectic it is and also how much of a better recording it is. The sound quality is as good as it gets. The vocals are clear and the guitars are rich sounding. The mix is perfect.
Sally wrote all eleven songs, some with such Music Row stalwarts as Mark Sanders, Liz Rose, Jon Randall, Jessi Alexander and Cory Mayo, but mainly by herself. A lot of work was put into the making of this album and there is not one throwaway song here. The title track is a great slow ballad. There is really nice guitar pickin’, and Sally’s vocals are really in touch with the mood of the song. There is a guitar riff that does a lot for this song, great musical hook with on-the-mark harmonies by Michael Kelsh. Tears of Joy is rooted in traditional bluegrass but also nods to country, then there’s the wry break-up song, Being Gone, while Huntington River is an awesome story ballad with great harmony by Jon Randall and Stuart Duncan on mournful fiddle. Duncan’s fiddle is to the fore on My Love Loves The Ocean, an intriguing ballad rooted in traditional British folk music. Last Drink Of Wine has some nice acoustic guitar, a really rich sounding track with inventive percussion and great accordion courtesy of Jeff Taylor. This has an enticing melody, and Sally’s vocals just pull you in.
If you’re a fan of the likes of Kathy Mattea, Mindy Smith, Lee Ann Womack or Alison Krauss, then you need to rush out and buy RESTLESS SOUL. Throughout Sally Barris is singing with a natural timbre and great confidence. The whole album has a very high quality vibe with country, folk, bluegrass, Celtic and Americana influences. Ms Barris has really grown in her vocals and her approach to her music. This is going to be a hard CD to top. AC