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, Mire Breatnach on fiddle and viola and Rosie Shipley on fiddle.
Sarah McQuaid is at Coal Aston Village Hall, Eckington Road, on Saturday, February 5. For tickets (6), call 01246 410611.
CANADIAN singer songwriter Miss Quincy will be exploring the contents of her debut album, Your Mama Don't Like Me, when she plays a house concert at Wombwell on Sunday, February 6.
She is of a new breed of DIY Canadian musicians who are committed to a grassroots music approach.
Indeed, the new album was recorded in her cabin home during a cold snap.
She will be accompanied by guitarist, banjo player Tyler Toews. Her voice has character and bite deliviering memorable songs, ranging through bluegrass and barroom blues to gypsy jazz.
House concerts are by invitation only. To find out more go to www. barnsleyhouseconcerts.moonfruit.com
TWO of folk's best known faces, Ashley Hutchings and Ken Nicol, join forces next Friday for a night at the Rock@Maltby, Wesley Centre, Blyth Road, Maltby. The founder of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band, Hutchings is still at the forefront of English music. Tonight's guest is Jackie Leven.
THE Folk Train leaves Sheffield station on Tuesday (7.14pm) for its musical journey to Edale with entertainment by Skyhook, among three of the fineset acoustic musicians in Sheffield. In Edale, music continues at The Rambler.
BANJO player Abigail Washburn and her band are at the Greystones, Greystones Road, Sheffield, next Wednesday. She plays a stunning blend of American roots and alternative folk music. Support is from Dave Woodcock and the Dead Comedians.
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