UK-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Sarah McQuaid sets out on a three-month, 65-show tour of the USA and UK before she takes a year-long break from the road to record a new album – see details of dates below.
Featured earlier this year in the Legends Of Rock exhibition by photographer Phil Nicholls (http://www.philnicholls.co.uk) alongside his iconic images of Amy Winehouse, Björk, The Prodigy and Courtney Love, to name a few, McQuaid has spent the past seven years touring virtually nonstop on both sides of the Atlantic, earning critical accolades along the way.
Of one of her concerts last autumn, The Huffington Post wrote: “Finding treasure feels great, and such is the case with musician Sarah McQuaid. … I’ve attended hundreds of concerts of all kinds, and her subtle mastery onstage launches her straight into my fave shows ever. One voice, one guitar, and the wondrous reminder of the magic of music. Sarah has the gift.”
Her autumn 2016 outing will be her final tour before she takes a twelve-month break from the road in 2017 to focus her energies on writing and recording a fifth solo album, as well as penning a sequel to The Irish DADGAD Guitar Book, the popular tutor she authored on the alternative guitar tuning she uses exclusively.
“I’d like to do a follow-up book that focuses on song accompaniment and that demonstrates the versatility of DADGAD,” Sarah explains. “A lot of people think of it as a specifically ‘Celtic’ tuning, but I write all my songs in DADGAD, and it’s great for all sorts of different genres, from blues to classical music to rock ’n’ roll.
“I’m also very excited about the next album – I don’t want say too much just yet, cos I’m afraid I’ll jinx it if I do, but if all goes according to plan I’ll have a pretty major piece of news about that very soon!
“And after spending a huge chunk of the past seven years on the road I do feel I’ve earned a bit of a break. I’ll still do local gigs, and I’ll also do festivals that only take me away from home for a couple of days at a time – there are a number of festivals that I haven’t been able to get to because I’m always away on tour in other countries when they’re happening, so it’ll be great to be actually available for those.
“For example, I’ve just been booked for the Costa del Folk Festival on the island of Ibiza in April 2017, and if that offer had come up last year or the year before, I’d have had to say no – so I’m very happy that it came at a point when I could say yes.
“But mostly I really want to be able to focus on the new album. Like I already said, watch this space!”
Released in 2015, Sarah’s fourth solo album Walking Into White was selected as Album of the Month by UK publication FolkWords, which went on to nominate it for both Best Album from a Female Artist and Album of the Year. Germany’s Folker hailed it as “Ein mutiges Album mit einem potenziellen Pophit” (“A courageous album that includes a potential pop hit”), while The Musician called it “A work that grows with each listen.”
“The songs are acutely observed and literate, almost like journal notes set to music. They’re measured and tranquil but they’re never dull because there is always a sense of restlessness and unease behind the poetry…. And it’s all lovely,” wrote Ian Pickles in R2/Rock ’n’ Reel.
Before she can get down to work on its successor, she’s got a busy schedule ahead of her, with a weekend of festivals at the start of September leading straight into a seven week coast-to-coast US tour, which in turn will be followed by a four-week UK tour in November.
“And after that,” says Sarah, “I’m looking forward to having a good long break from living out of a suitcase!”
Aug 19 Penzance: Penlee Park Open Air Theatre
Sep 2 Wallingford BunkFest
Sep 3 Faversham Hop Festival
Sep 4 Bath: The American Museum in Britain
Sep 7 McKinney, TX: The Guitar Sanctuary (workshop only)
Sep 8 Fort Worth, TX: Concerts in the Woods
Sep 9 Dallas, TX: Uncle Calvin’s Coffeehouse
Sep 10 Winnsboro, TX: The Bowery Stage at Winnsboro Center for the Arts
Sep 11 Austin, TX: Ham Jam House Concerts
Sep 12 Alpine, TX: Alpine Public Library
Sep 13 Anthony, NM: Toad Hall House Concerts
Sep 14 Miami, AZ: Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum
Sep 16 Las Vegas, NV: Garage Ma Hall Musical Gatherings
Sep 17 Pasadena, CA: Pasadena Folk Music Society
Sep 18 San Pedro, CA: Alvas Showroom
Sep 20 Rock Springs, WY: White Mountain Library
Sep 21 Glenwood Springs, CO: Glenwood Springs Branch Library
Sep 22 Ridgway, CO: House Concert
Sep 23 Westcliffe, CO: Hardscrabble Concerts
Sep 24 Denver, CO: Tuft Theater @ Swallow Hill Music
Sep 25 Rapid City, SD: Rockerville Community Hall
Sep 29 Hayward, WI: The Park Center
Sep 30 Duluth, MN: Jubilee House Concerts
Oct 1 Madison, WI: House Concert
Oct 2 Peoria, IL: Music in the McKenzie
Oct 3 Winfield, IL: Winfield Public Library
Oct 4 Danville, IN: Keys, Strings & Other Things
Oct 5 Chelsea, MI: On The Tracks Songwriter Showcase
Oct 7 Winston-Salem, NC: Fiddle & Bow Society
Oct 8 Black Mountain, NC: White Horse Black Mountain
Oct 9 Chattahoochee Hills, GA: Chatt Hills Music
Oct 12 Takoma Park, MD: House Of Musical Traditions (workshop only)
Oct 13 Washington, DC: Institute of Musical Traditions
Oct 14 Merion Station, PA: House Concert
Oct 15 Montclair, NJ: Notes From Home House Concert Series
Oct 16 Warwick, RI: Warwick Public Library
Oct 17 Johnston, RI: Marian J Mohr Memorial Library
Oct 18 Millis, MA: Millis Public Library
Oct 19 Litchfield, CT: Oliver Wolcott Library
Oct 20 Wardsboro, VT: Wardsboro Town Hall
Oct 21 Dover, NH: Shows at Red & Shorty’s
Oct 22 Orleans, MA: Brick Hill House Concerts
Oct 23 Woods Hole, MA: Woods Hole Folk Music Society
Nov 3 St Austell: Restormel Arts @ The Bosuns Charlestown
Nov 4 Burton-Upon-Trent: The Brewtown Folk Club
Nov 5 Bracknell: Artree Live, South Hill Park Arts Centre
Nov 6 West Totton (Southampton): Hanger Farm Arts Centre
Nov 7 Croydon Folk Club
Nov 8 Cambridge: Strummers Music
Nov 11 Cardigan: The Cellar Bar
Nov 12 Buxton: The Green Man Gallery
Nov 13 Halifax: Square Chapel Centre For The Arts
Nov 14 Stirling Folk Club
Nov 15 Edinburgh: Leith Folk Club
Nov 16 Corran: The Ceilidh House & Heritage Centre
Nov 17 Morpeth: Gallery 45
Nov 18 Leeds: HEART – Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre
Nov 19 Liverpool Acoustic @ View Two Gallery
Nov 22 St Neots Folk Club
Nov 23 Keighley: Exchange Arts Centre
Nov 24 Scarborough: Woodend Gallery
Nov 25 Tewkesbury: The Roses
Nov 26 Combe Martin: Shammick Acoustic
Nov 27 Tavistock: The Wharf
Nov 29 Topsham: The Bridge Inn
Dec 1 Redruth: Regal Theatre
See http://www.sarahmcquaid.com/tour for full details of all concerts.