There are a lot of new sounds on the debut album, If Only I Could Fly, from Boston roots musician Emerald Rae. The first sound you hear is the deep buzzing drones of the ancient medieval Welsh fiddle the crwth (pronounced “krooth”). An unusual instrument playing by only a small number of people today, Emerald came upon the instrument during her studies of early Scottish traditional music. Another new sound found on the album is Emerald’s active blending of new world Americana with old word Celtic influences. This starts with the drones of the crwth, which helped her bring her music full circle back home to America’s Southern mountains. This could be a new iteration of the old path that brought Scots-Irish music to Appalachia in the first place, or it could be that some trace of that path still remains, inspiring young musicians even today. If Only I Could Fly also introduces a new identity for this young artist who’s known as a masterful fiddler – singer/songwriter. On this album, Emerald Rae debuts her singing and songwriting, with original songs like the rough-and-tumble “Sweet Arrest” and the percussive, fiddle-driven “Summer Time Will Come.” The new album is a big identity shift for Emerald, but she feels it’s liberating. It’s a chance for her to bring her eclectic tastes in other music into her traditional background. Her inspiration for the creation of this album included such wide-ranging artists as Scottish singer Karine Polwart, Americana master Gillian Welch and even early Willie Nelson!