Rosalie Sorrels: Too Sick For SXSW

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  • photo by Laurie Pearman
Folk musician Rosalie Sorrels was slated to play a spot at this year's SXSW festival. The 76-year-old loves Austin, and she said playing the festival in 2009 was one of the best things she's ever done in her long and illustrious music career.

She stayed in an marvelous hotel, garnered a coveted midnight weekend slot and received rave reviews. Even though she hesitated briefly when the invitation from SXSW organizers was extended this time—she wasn't sure she wanted to stop working on her new album—Sorrels decided she couldn't wait to go back. But work on a new release and a lingering illness that she just can't kick have depleted her reserves: She doesn't have the energy to go this year.

"I thought I'd be able to go," Sorrels said, her voice hoarse. "Usually I can get rid of stuff like this. I'm tough. I throw back cocktail of brandy, rum and hot sauce with some vitamins and I'm fine." But not this time.

Sorrels is also disappointed that her recuperation period has pushed the release date of her upcoming album back as well.

"I've been working a lot with Bill Liles and Ben Burdick on this one," she said. "Most of it is recorded, but I still need to do a few things. It's really autobiographical ... It has lots of spoken word, some funny stuff, some tough stuff ... I wanted to release it at the Kate Wolf festival this year [June 25-27], but I think I'll have to wait until October or November."

Plus, Sorrels really wants Liles and Burdick to tour the album with her, so it will depend on their schedules as well.

Hopefully, by the time SXSW rolls around next yer, Sorrels will have a new album in hand and the energy to go.

"I'm brokenhearted," she said. "I love it more than anything."

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