FROM 1930s jazz standards to Irish and Appalachian folk songs.
That is the beguiling road you follow at a performance by Sarah McQuaid.
Her unique voice is matched by a distinctive guitar style. A McQuaid set is often punctuated by Elizabethan ballads, her own material and a few lively guitar intrumentals...along with some surprising covers.
Add this to a real rapport with her audience, and you have all the ingredients of a great night out.
Born in Spain, raised in Chicago, Sarah spent 13 years in Ireland and now lives in Cornwall!
This, and an eager and inquisitive spirit for learning new material, has created a truly unique performer.
She began touring the US and Canada at the age of 12 with the Chicago Children’s Choir.
By 18 she was in France for a year studying at the University of Strasbourg, where her performance at a local folk club drew some well-deserved attention.
In 1994, Sarah moved to Ireland, penning a weekly folk music column for the Evening Herald and contributing to Hot Press magazine. She is also author of The Irish DADGAD Guitar Book, described as a ‘godsend’ to aspiring traditional guitarists.
Her debut solo album, When Two Lovers Meet, featured traditional tunes and songs along with one original number. It was re-released in 2007, the same year that saw Sarah on her first solo tour.
She moved to England after the death of her mother in 2004 and she now lives in her former home.
Sarah’s second album, I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning, was dedicated to her mother. She said: “My first album was immersed in Irish traditional music, which I still love – but this time round, I felt the need to revisit the Southern Appalachian songs and tunes I learned during my childhood. They have powerful emotional resonances and all are connected in one way or another to my mother.”
It was recorded in Trevor Hutchinson’s Dublin studio and produced by Gerry O’Beirne. Both guest on the album, alongside percussionist Liam Bradley, Máire Breatnach on fiddle and viola and Rosie Shipley on fiddle.