"With her sophomore album, Celtic fiddler Sarah Burnell shows once again why she was named Young Performer of the Year at the 2006 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Her performances are bright and incisive, respectful of the old sources in which many of them are rooted without being slavishly traditional and, most important, fun. Burnell, an Ottawa native now studying violin and music at McGill University, also sings: buoyantly on "L'alouette et le pinson", commandingly on Stan Rogers' "The Flowers of Bermuda" (Greg Weeks' cello is an inspired addition), and hauntingly on "Will Ye No Come Back Again?"
-Penguin Eggs (2008)
"Sarah Burnell takes the threads of rich musical traditions and weaves them into a beautiful sound that's all her own – her creations dance with youthful joy, while communicating wisdom beyond her years."
-Mike Ford (2008)
"Every so often the fiddle world produces a bright young performer who sets toes tapping and jaws dropping. A few years ago it was Natalie MacMaster. Later it was April Verch. And now we have Sarah Burnell, a young charmer from Ottawa with a strong affinity for Cape Breton-style fiddling. Her attention to the detail in the tunes is accompanied by a strong sense of the spirit of the music-an unbeatable combination!"
-Paul Mills (2006)
"Over at Stage Five…we were treated to Tony McManus, James Keelaghan, & Sarah Burnell…Sarah Burnell is a superb fiddler as well as having a voice like an angel. Tony treated us to some of his astoundingly intricate guitar…James thundered out a magisterial version of 'Van Diemann's Land', and Sarah just played and sang and we were all smitten."
-Tale Spin review - Edmonton Folk Festival (2007)
"Burnell effortlessly straddles the Classical and Celtic world. She savours the technical challenges presented by classical violin, while feeding off the intimate exchanges between Celtic fiddler and audience. 'In the end,' she says, 'Baroque has helped my fiddling and fiddling has helped my Baroque.'
–McGill Newsbites '07
"Capering with youthful exuberance and memorable for its finesse, "Sarah'ndipity" marks the recording début of Ottawa fiddler Sarah Burnell. She also performs a couple of lovely vocal numbers in English and Gaelic. Burnell is a classically-trained violinist, which helps explain the control and sheer good taste that flavour her performances, while her background as a highland dancer doubtless accounts for the zip and zest that distinguish her music".
-The Ottawa Citizen (2006)
"This effervescent young Ottawa fiddler has a good feel for Scottish, Irish, and particularly Cape Breton music. She wields a mighty bow, and manages a fine touch on what is largely a traditional repertoire of very well-known pieces. Also a dancer, clearly her lively music is intended to get people up out of their chairs and onto the dance floor."
-Penguin Eggs (2006)
"Right from the first track, Terri’s Tunes, the band is in full swing and performing as a unit. That said, there is no doubt as to the leader: Sarah Burnell’s finely nuanced fiddle playing is at the centre of each piece, both acoustically and aesthetically. Her tone is rich, her ornamentation precise, and there’s energy in every note. I found the band particularly strong when playing the more driving, uptempo numbers..."
"Burnell has also taken her performances to another level, with more of an edge to the faster numbers (Les reels tziganes, L’alouette et le pinson) and a warmer sound in the more expansive pieces (The Galician Set, Stirling Castle). Her duet passages with cellist Greg Weeks are particularly well done, and I found the worldly Trip to Pakistan really showcases the versatility of The Sarah Burnell Band."
"Both of these albums display excellent musicianship, and serve to announce the arrival of a major new talent in Canadian folk music. While Sarah Burnell has received accolades as Young Performer of the Year (Canadian Folk Music Association, 2006), she is far more than a talented young musician: Burnell can hold her own with musicians of all ages. Both albums highly recommended."
-Dr. Paul Guise