Alibi V.12 No.51 • Dec 18-24, 2003 

Music Article

Rosalie Sorrels

Saturday, Dec. 20; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 8 p.m.): Legendary folksinger, songwriter and storyteller Rosalie Sorrels will make her first appearance in Albuquerque in over two years with a concert that ironically celebrates her life on the road and her retirement from it, simultaneously. Mother of 22 solo recordings during a career that has spanned 40 years, Sorrels is promoting her latest release, Rosalie Sorrels and Friends, which features guest performances by Peggy Seeger, David Bromberg and Loudon Wainwright III.

Sorrels, in addition to being one of the greatest living folk songwriters in the world, is also a master storyteller who has a unique ability to sing her way into a conversation and converse her way into a song without ever missing a beat. Her wry sense of humor, plenty of worldly experience—which runs the gamut between joy and tragedy—and believes that what she does between songs in terms of relating to her audience and engaging them is just as important as the songs themselves have helped keep her sounding fresh and relevant all these years. But her greatest gift, among many, is her innate talent for making everyday events as colorful, exciting and meaningful as the earth-shattering ones. It's all in the way Sorrels turns a phrase, matches it with the perfect homespun melody and delivers the package with reverence and great care.

As intended, this will be Sorrels' final appearance in New Mexico before she finishes this last tour and retires to the cabin her father built by hand in the mountains of Idaho. She's had a remarkable run, and the catalog of music she's produced thus far is more than folk fans could have hoped for. But, with any luck, her retirement from the road will give her more time to work in the studio. Keep your fingers crossed.