Three shows in Cornwall for local international singer-songwriter Sarah McQuaid
Hot on the heels of a six-week tour of Ireland and the UK, international singer-songwriter Sarah McQuaid is looking forward to three shows in Cornwall: Penlee Park Open Air Theater in Penzance on Friday June 17, intoBodmin in the Old Bodmin Library on Saturday June 18 and The Redruth Drapery on Sunday June 19.
She will be promoting her new album The St Buryan Sessionswhich was recorded live in lockdown at St Buryan’s Church near Penzance and won critical praise and appeared on top lists of 2021 on three continents.
“It was amazing to get back on the road to play in front of real, flesh-and-blood human beings instead of images on a screen,” Sarah says, “but these are really tough times for all artists on tour, me Travel costs have skyrocketed and the audience numbers are far below what they should be.
“I urge people, if they are planning to come to one of my concerts, to buy tickets in advance, because the low ticket sales are making venues nervous and they are starting to talk about canceling shows. .
“I’ve already had three shows canceled on this tour due to low ticket sales, which is financially disastrous when you’re already on the road and have expenses to pay whether you’re doing a show or not.
“But even with small attendances, the concerts that have taken place have been absolutely fantastic – it’s so, so nice to get that immediate reaction from a live audience. There’s nothing else in the world like that.
Born in Spain and raised in Chicago, Sarah lived in Ireland for 13 years before moving to West Penwith in 2007 with her husband (local artist Feargal Shiels, member of the renowned Newlyn Society of Artists) and two children.
“The kids were 2 and 4 when we moved to Cornwall and they’re 17 and 19 now,” she says, “so it’s really the only house they remember and I’m so, so happy that they were able to grow up in such a beautiful part of the world. I have deeply rooted here now and have no intention of moving again!
It was while moving to Cornwall that Sarah met Zoë, author and singer of the 1991 single “Sunshine On A Rainy Day”, at the gates of St Levan’s School, the small primary school that Zoë and Sarah’s children attended. .
The duo hit it off and recorded an album of co-written songs under the group name Mama, released in 2009 to critical acclaim: MOJO called it “a pleasantly maverick mix”, the FinancialTimes described it as “captivating” and the irish time said it evoked “the freewheeling spirit of Janis Joplin crossed with the lyrical density of Joni Mitchell.”
Entitled Crow Coyote Buffalothe Mama album was produced and recorded by Martin Stansbury, also based in Cornwall, who later became Sarah’s manager and touring sound engineer.
Stansbury also produced and recorded Sarah’s sixth solo album, The St Buryan Sessionswhich was released on CD and limited edition double vinyl LP on October 15, 2021.
The album has been featured on “Best of 2021” lists published by outlets as far apart as 2ser 107.3fm in Sydney, Australia; the “Ear To The Ground” radio show on WXNA FM in Nashville; the music blog “Slim Chance” from the Netherlands; and the UK show “Strummers & Dreamers” on Cambridge 105 and Blues & Roots Radio.
With the help of second cameraman John Crooks, Cornish filmmaker Mawgan Lewis filmed the entire album during its recording. Her videos of all 15 tracks can be viewed on Sarah’s YouTube channel, along with a 9-minute documentary, ‘The Making Of The St Buryan Sessions’, with interviews and song clips.
Details of Sarah’s three Cornwall appointments are as follows:
Friday June 17: Penlee Park Open Air Theater
Morrab Road, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 4HE
Tickets £12 in advance (£14 at the door)
This will be Sarah’s fourth appearance at this lovely outdoor venue! Homemade pre-show vegetable curry (dairy- and gluten-free, with naan bread and yogurt), vegetable soup with a roll, or jacket potato with butter and grated cheese can be pre-ordered when booking your show tickets; in addition, there is a licensed bar as well as a full range of hot and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. Become a friend and get exclusive benefits, discounts and priority booking. Gift certificates also available.
Saturday June 18: intoBodmin at The Old Library
10 Lower Bore Street, Bodmin, Cornwall PL31 2JX
Tickets £12/£10/£8 (flexible pricing)
This will be Sarah’s second visit to this lovely little arts center housed in the former Passmore Edwards Free Library, one of many institutions open during Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year. The building reopened as a performance and community space in 2018. Please book in advance if possible, as the performance will not take place unless a sufficient number of tickets are sold in advance. Under intoBodmin’s flexible pricing scheme, you can choose to pay £8, £10, £12 or more.
Sunday, June 19: The Redruth drapery
4 West End, Redruth, Cornwall TR15 2RZ
Redruth Drapery Stores was one of the first such large stores in the South West until the 1950s. Since then it has gone through many incarnations and is now an independent event venue for live music, food, wine tasting and more.