Playing Out Loud
Preview by Peter Ashton
YOU don’t see many blondes singing the blues but you can see one at Winchester ’s Railway Inn later this month. Texan singer Sarah Sharp appears there on Tuesday June 24.
Born in Houston , Texas , Sarah grew up in a musical family. She joined the local choir at age fourteen and later earned a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston , graduating three years later. Her predictable progress took a surprising turn when Sarah decided to move to London to start her career as a professional singer. Despite not having a work permit, she became a favourite at Soho ’s “Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues Bar.” Gigs there led to spells in jazz and cover bands, giving her two years experience and the confidence to return to Austin and kickstart a solo career there.
Towards the end of her spell in London Sarah had started writing her own songs. When she returned to Austin she started singing jazz while she looked for players and gigs for her original music. She was voted one of the top ten jazz musicians in the 2002 Austin Chronicle Music Awards and released a debut EP “Out of Nowhere” which received much local airplay, leading to radio and television interviews.
Sarah has recently been collaborating with various musicians and songwriters including Michael Ramos who has written songs for John Mellencamp and Patty Griffin. She is also working with producer Dan Workman of Sugarhill Studios in Houston who has worked with Destiny’s Child and ZZ Top, with a view to recording her first album.
The gig at Winchester ’s Railway Inn on June 24 also features local support acts Kate Stables, Rachel Dadd and The Sense. For more details ring 01962 867795. (©Peter Ashton 2003)
As for blonde Texan Sarah Sharp, well, here was a star in the making. Her dynamic vocal range, immaculate phrasing, and witty perceptive songs left a packed Railway Inn crowd gob-smacked.
Accompanied by partner Andy with some deft acoustic guitar work she sang self-written songs like “Mom’s High”, “After You’ve Gone” and “Surrender” with supreme confidence and charm. She really let rip with her encore “Let Me Sing” – a real tour de force which, to use an old cliche, left the crowd begging for more. (© Peter Ashton 2003)