Americana | Folk
Sweetbriar Rose is a band of rootsy, thorny, rose-hipped gypsies who you’re equally likely to glimpse running in full sun, barefoot on a field of bluegrass, brooding in three-part harmony over a murder ballad in a shady grove or channeling the spirit of a 1940’s Balkan jazz joint. If you heard them through the wall, you might imagine a stray melody from the carnival caravan was whirling and beckoning just on the other side of the darkened woods. The Philadelphia City Paper described their debut album, Cultivar, as, “impressive and spooky,” calling out songwriter Heather Shayne Blakeslee as a “towering talent” who’s “luxuriously husky and sexy voice” was combined with “smart, bookish lyrics.” She is also a songwriting award-winner with the New Jersey Folk Festival and the Elephant Talk Music Festival.
The band’s dynamic performances of original music mix solid Americana tinged with Eastern European folk and jazz, whispers and shouts, foot-stomping and finger-picking, crooning and wailing—haunting harmonies are central part of their act. They’ve been featured at the Philadelphia Folk Fest, New Jersey Folk Fest, Bethlehem’s Music Fest,
Old Swedes Memorial Dei Fest and the Brandywine Folk Fest, at many regional venues.
“Since joining the the Philadelphia Folksong Society’s Philly Music Co-op, Sweetbriar Rose has proved to be one of our most exciting and envelope-pushing acts. Drawing from an unusual blend of musical influences past and present, the group has developed an inimitable sound that demands your attention immediately,” says PFSS.
“Upon hearing an advance copy of Cultivar, we invited Sweetbriar Rose to perform at the 52nd Philadelphia Folk Festival, another stop in what’s already been a triumphant year for the band.” WXPN’s iconic and now-retired Folk Show host Gene Shay called Cultivar a “terrific CD.” In addition to their frequent club performances, the band has a successful original performance piece for the 2011 Philadelphia Fringe Festival to their credit, and have also been featured at Philadelphia’s Erotic Literary Salon.
Visit Sweetbriar Rose’s website and listen to their music below.