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Rosalie Sorrels and Friends

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Rosalie Sorrels is a collector and performer of traditional American folk songs, but in all her music, traditional and original, there is a deeply personal vein. Sorrels' music is about loss and survival. When she was 16, she had an illegal abortion; when she was 17, she gave up a child for adoption. She married and had five children, left her husband, and struggled to raise her family alone, and then saw her eldest child take his own life. Finally, she suffered a cerebral aneurysm in 1988. Through all her suffering, Sorrels has found solace in her ability to make music, an ability that has enraptured audiences for years. Sorrels' musical career began in the 1950s, when, as a way of alleviating the tedium of domestic life, she took a class on American folk songs while living in Salt Lake City. Work for that class resulted in her first album, Folk Songs of Utah & Idaho. Her albums since then have been a mix of traditional and original material; always sung with great passion and personal feeling, they have become increasingly autobiographical. ~ Leon Jackson