Tori Sparks, a folky singer/songwriter graced with a fiery, gutsy delivery worthy of Ani DiFranco, emerged in 2003 with an EP called Tidewaters, which she recorded while she was a student at Florida State University. Her debut full-length, Rivers + Roads, followed in 2005, released on the now-defunct Nashville label Pure Platinum. She spent the following year touring and promoting her album, and succeeded in generating some buzz in mainstream outlets like Paste and The Village Voice. She returned to the studio in 2006 and had her third full-length, Under This Yellow Sun, ready to go the following year. The disc was released on Sparks' homemade label, Glass Mountain Records; the album featured performances by Steve Bowman (Counting Crows) and Aaron Sands (Jars of Clay). ~ Margaret Reges
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