Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
Time and distance are fickle beasts, you could spend all day in its company believing you have spent the equivalent of traversing up and down the M6 and all its snarled up traffic at rush hour and yet only find out later only the first hundred yards from outside the driveway to your home actually counted. Otherwise, you accept your own truth that you have walked along the great American Highway a couple of feet, only to be told later that you made the strongest of connections by walking alone from Chicago to Los Angeles; Time and distance, strange bedfellows and always seem to offer the finest of opportunities in the Road Less Traveled.
Sara Petite’s latest album, Road Less Traveled, is a full on Country sound with lyrical abandon and strong feminist heartbreak weaved like a fine quilt, the patterns laid down by a strong and intelligent design, by all the women of Nashville that came before. Yet Ms. Petite’s will is overpowering, it takes on the narrow minded with ease but at the same time defends the position it installs with grace, with a sense of determined pride; a humility inside the dignified shell and for that on its own, it makes the album a sheer delight.
As in true Country autobiographical style Ms. Petite takes the listener through segments of her life without shame, with honour unfolding through each track, it is an honour that makes the listener smile, will make them feel the furrow lighten but also enlighten those in the dark that they too can have a voice that recognises the complex difficulty of 21st Century double standards, that women still cannot be seen as having it all whilst demanding that Time has moved on since the days of the classic Country stars.
In tracks such as It Was Just A Kiss, Patchwork Quilt, the superb Sweet Pea Blues, Sweet Pea Patch and You Don’t Care At All, Sara Petite frames the ideal and takes the Country scene on that magical journey to which both Time and distance are both relived of their responsibilities for a while and allowed to be remembered for the depth of skill that they require to be navigated.
The Road Less Traveled may be fraught with interesting dangers but it is the one in which a strong woman can hold her in own and take on adversary with joy and confidence.
Ian D. Hall