Sarah Siskind’s music is not easily explained or contained. She’s a singer and songwriter based in North Carolina and grounded in Appalachian roots, but one who transcends category with a beguiling fusion of the traditional and the modern. Whether solo, fronting an electric band or in her harmony-laden trio The Novel Tellers, Sarah creates emotionally charged soundscapes that consistently delight and surprise even her long-time fans.

Originally classified as a folksinger, Sarah Siskind continues to be one of today’s most respected and covered songwriters as well as a stand-out independent artist, who Spin Magazine calls “an artist you must hear now”. Armed with a striking vocal style and solid guitar and piano work, Sarah is a regular NPR performer with features on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, World Cafe with David Dye, All Songs Considered, Song Of The Day and most recently NPR’s Mountain Stage. She has toured with Bonnie Raitt, Paul Brady, Grammy winner Bon Iver (who also famously covered her “Lovin’s For Fools”) and The Swell Season, and had songs recorded by Alison Krauss (the GRAMMY nominated “Simple Love”), Randy Travis, Madi Diaz and many more. Boston folk icon Jennifer Kimball once dubbed her the perfect hybrid of Joni Mitchell and Gillian Welch. Steve Binder, the legendary LA based TV/Film Producer who has worked with Elvis Presley, Dianna Ross and Liza Minnelli calls Sarah “the best female singer-songwriter in America today.”

Siskind’s songs were heavily featured on ABC’s hit TV show Nashville. Other television shows that have featured Sarah’s songs are MTV’s Teen Mom 2, MTV’s Awkward, ABC’s Pretty Little Liars, Lifetime’s Army Wives and HBO’s The Wire.

The roots rock trio Sunliner was the brainchild of Sarah and her husband Travis Book. Even though both are busy in their own music careers, the couple started playing music together during “off” time as a way to travel together and share what they both love. It began by Travis asking to dig into Sarah’s vast catalog of songs she had written but never performed. Originally a duo, the couple took it a step further by adding a drummer. With the solid rhythm section of Book on bass and Brian Caputo on drums backing Siskind’s lush guitar work and expressive soaring vocals, there’s no need for shiny solos or trickery. The melodies and stories take center stage, often harkening back to the era of Southern Rock and Delta Blues.

This playlist contains a few cuts from the  Sunliner debut album Love, plus an assortment of Sarah’s solo music. Perfect for a late-summer drive, or just hanging on the patio and enjoying the still-long days, before cooler weather moves in. Have a terrific Friday and late summer weekend everyone.