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Sarah Harmer: A Quieter, Folkier Turn

Harmer says <em>I'm a Mountain</em> "was kind of a gift album for me," because of how quickly it was recorded.
Harmer says I'm a Mountain "was kind of a gift album for me," because of how quickly it was recorded.

The title track of Sarah Harmer's I'm a Mountain was inspired by a tarot card reading, but the album as a whole has its roots in something less mercurial.

Harmer's music used to be categorized as alt-rock. She was the artistic center of the band Weeping Tile in the '90s before going solo and releasing Songs for Clem, a tribute to her father, in 1999. That was followed by You Were Here in 2000 and All of Our Names in 2004.

On her latest album, she has drawn inspiration from country and bluegrass -- and from her background growing up on a farm in Ontario, as well. One song, "Escarpment Blues," addresses a land-use battle surrounding the land where her family still lives.

The 11 tracks on I'm a Mountain display a lyrical quality that showcases Harmer's intelligent songwriting and fine musicianship. She is currently touring in Canada and will play dates on the West Coast in mid-April.

Copyright 2006 XPN

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David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.