Getting To Know: Sarah Blacker
Every week we let a local band tell us about themselves. Today, we get to know Sarah Blacker. You catch the band’s next performance on June 5 as part of the Dedham Music & Art Festival at the Dedham Community House Field.
Band Name: Sarah Blacker + All Kinds of Sugar
Sarah Blacker: Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin (Wellesley, MA)
Chuck Fisher: Lead Guitar (Fitchburg, MA)
Sean McLaughlin: Bass (Rockland, MA)
The Only Way Out is Through (2009)
How did you form?
Chuck Fisher came into the recording studio to play “color/texture” parts on ‘Talk to Me’ off of ‘TOWOIT’ and I nearly cried, I was so moved. He’s an exquisite player and I suggested he come along to play some shows following the recording of the record. He consistently impresses me with his diversity, encyclopedic musical skills, and charisma. He’s been performing with us for about a year, and does shows in New England down to PA and is famous for his pineapple shirt, and not owning a GPS. Sean McLaughlin helped in many ways for the first record. He assisted with the engineering of the record, mixed it, and played all of the electric bass tracks on it as well, save one song played by another special guest. Our first time playing together live, was at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge when he sat in with me on a couple of songs. I loved his enthusiasm, his solid and soulful ‘Beatle-bass’ playing, and his incredulous jokes. Sean’s always up for crashing on couches, so I’m able to take him on the road for more extended trips, as long as we stop at a Wawa so he can indulge in ‘Coffeetopia.’
Who are some of your influences?
Joni Mitchell, Sarah McLaughin, Ray LaMontagne, Martin Sexton, Regina Spektor, CSNY, Paul Simon, Imogen Heap, Radiohead…and….
Finish the sentence, someone would like your band if they like…
…bad jokes, honesty, ROOTS MUSIC, intelligent lyrics, and peanut butter sandwiches. Something familiar but unique, thought-evoking yet immediate.
What has your most memorable moment as a band been?
Either when Chuck called us during sound check for a recent New Hampshire show saying that he was lost in Maine… or our CD Release Party for over 300 people for my first record at the Hard Rock Cafe, Boston.
Walk us through your songwriting process.
Take my hand, come with me, where the people are free… lightning crashes… down the rabbit hole… the first signs of spring… she rubs her eyes … and voila! A child is born.
Who is the best musician in your band?
Beasley, my black lab.
What is your favorite local venue?
If you mean mostly local, anything on Martha’s Vineyard. If you mean “Boston-local” probably anything on Mass Ave. We love the Lizard Lounge…Toad… the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton…
What separates you from other local bands?
Possibly that we travel all-over the country to perform, either as a group or just my tour manager and I. Also that we have two black guitars, one Beatle-bass, and a black lab named Beasley who frequently tours, and appears on stage with us. And maybe also that we enjoy the intricacies of complex music, but also the dedication and structure of a great song and convictive hook.
What do you have coming up that people should know about?
The night of the Dedham Music Fest (June 5), I’ll be opening for Farren-Butcher, Inc. at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA at 7 p.m. Our weekly residency at Toad in Cambridge is every Tuesday in June at 7pm and a solo-show I’ll be playing at Club Passim on July 14. …And a new record in the fall!!!
Convince our readers to see your next show.
We make music that is timeless. If you’re a folkie, we’ve got thoughtful lyrics and melodies and acoustic instruments for you. If you enjoy chick singer/songwriters, well…you’ll find that in us, of course. If you like to rock, we give it to you good and often take names! If you want to be intrigued, impressed, and caught off guard, we love to surprise you with diversity in our set. We’re on stage, but you’re always a part of the show, and we love to make you laugh, just as much as we hope to move you to tears. Come to meet Beasley, come to take Seannymac out on a date, [or at least buy him a drink] come and request any Beatles’ song, and Chuck will know it. This is our job, and we love it, but we need you, to do it. Come to be inspired to follow your dreams, and to make new friends. And most importantly…come to have fun and bring everyone you know…and 20 bucks cash to buy a signature faerie – logo red baseball hat, and a copy of The Only Way Out is Through. [hehe]