I’m appalled to see that this is the first newsletter I’ve sent out since January! Apologies for the long silence, but it’s been a busy time between touring like crazy and the release of my fourth solo CD, Walking Into White.
The album was released in the UK and Europe last February and in North America this month (just in time for my September-October US tour), and it’s had some extremely nice reviews in both countries. Here’s just a small sample of what people have been saying about it:
“Luminous ... a soft but forceful record whose urgency is sometimes masked by the music’s acoustic serenity.”—The Boston Globe
“The more we spin this one, the better it sounds.”—BabySue
“Jaw-droppingly beautiful ... tender and gorgeous.”—Invisible Ink Music Blog
“Sending out a trembling resonance, this is a collection of songs that feel their way into your being.”—FolkWords
“A work that grows with each listen.”—The Musician
“As frustrating as it must surely be that a greater public recognition has so far eluded her, Sarah McQuaid has clearly held true to her own musical vision and it’s to be hoped that Walking Into White is the album which will bring her the wider commercial success she so richly deserves.”— Folk Radio UK
To be hoped indeed! There’s still time to buy the new album directly from me (with a personal dedication if you like) via Bandcamp before I head off next Monday on my eight-week US tour, which will be followed in short order by a four-week UK tour; see dates at right. I’ll also be selling the CD (along with its predecessors) at all the gigs; and what’s more, I’ll be performing the entire album live, track by track, as the first half of every show (apart from those with shorter formats that don’t allow for a first and second half).
I performed the album live for the first time at the album’s official launch at Podium Cafe Peter en Leni in the Netherlands last March. It took a certain amount of technological trickery on the part of my long-suffering manager and sound engineer, Martin Stansbury, to make some of the tracks work – notably ‘Jackdaws Rising’, co-written with my great friends Pete Coleman and Clare Hines and described by album reviewer Theo Volk in Johnny’s Garden as “onmogelijk live te spelen” (“impossible to play live”). Click here to watch a video of my performance of ‘Jackdaws Rising’ at the aforementioned album launch show; the timing was a little wonky on that occasion (it was, after all, the first time we’d ever done it!), but has improved since, although it’s still akin to walking a tightrope every night. As I’ve often said before about other tracks involving nifty effects: if we don’t get it exactly right, it comes out exactly wrong ….
Once the tour gets under way, you’ll find lots of chat and photographs in daily updates on my Facebook page and Twitter account. If you’re able to make it to one of the shows, it would be great to see you there, and please do help to spread the word if you can.