Mary Sarah Firehouse Saloon, September 26
On her remarkable album Bridges, 18-year-old Houston singer Mary Sarah goes well beyond holding her own against some of the greatest talents in country-music history, from Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson on down. This is no stunt record. Just about anyone who has been to a karaoke bar knows how easy it can be to screw up a song like Nelson's "Crazy," but Sarah delivers that tune, and others even more difficult to sing, with real musicianship that matches that of her elders.
Less surprisingly, she also gives several tunes a pronounced youthful zip that redeems some pretty dated material. This is Sarah's first Houston gig since the summer release of Bridges, which has rightly drawn a fair amount of national attention. With Cameran Nelson. CHRIS GRAY