In conjunction with the recent 2012 release of her new album The Plum Tree and The Rose (currently charting at No. 3 on the Folk Radio Chart, No. 4 on the UK Roots Radio Airplay Chart and No. 5 on the Euro Americana chart), Sarah McQuaid sets out on tour across Ireland and Northern Ireland — see details of dates below.
The Plum Tree and The Rose is the third album by this gifted and captivating performer whose warm, haunting alto is delicately cradled by her “sparkling guitar” (Sing Out!). She is both song crafter and song collector, equally at home with traditional Irish and Appalachian folk songs, Elizabethan ballads and 1930s jazz numbers.
Her musical output is a direct and unfolding reflection of her own eclectic background: Sarah was born in Spain, raised in Chicago, holds dual US and Irish citizenship, and currently lives in rural England. While the genre, era and geographical location of her songs may change, at their core is a musician who has soaked it all in – and, luckily for us, is able to eloquently express the stories she’s gathered.
Produced by Gerry O’Beirne (Midnight Well, Patrick Street, Sharon Shannon Band), engineered by Trevor Hutchinson (Waterboys, Lúnasa) and released on the Chicago-based Waterbug Records label, The Plum Tree and The Rose represents a departure from Sarah’s previous albums, which focused on her arrangements of traditional material, in that nine of its thirteen tracks are originals.
Although a thread of personal experience is woven into the material, Sarah truly shines as a teller of parables. Whether she’s recounting the life of 16th century businesswoman Bess of Hardwick or standing in a cathedral and pondering the immortality of the soul, the specific detail subtly manifests a universal truth. These are songs that linger in the listener’s imagination.
Thurs 19 April. An Creagán, Creggan, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland BT79 9AF
Tel 028 80 761112 — Tickets £10 advance £12 door From 9.00 p.m. Doors 8:30 p.m.
Sat 21 April. Whelan’s, Wexford Street, Dublin 2, Ireland – Album Launch Concert
Tel 01 478 0766 — Tickets €13.00 – From 8.00 p.m.
Sarah will also be giving a guitar workshop at 2:30pm at Walton’s New School of Music, 69 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2, Tel 01 478 1884 Tickets €20.00, http://www.newschool.ie
Sun 22 April. McCarthy’s Bar, Goat Street, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Tel: 066 915 1205 — Tickets €10.00 — From 8.00 p.m.
Mon 23 April. The Village Arts Centre, The Square, Kilworth, Co. Cork, Ireland.
Tel: 025 32227 — Tickets €15.00 (€12.50 conc) — From 8:15 p.m. (Doors 8.00 p.m.)
Tue 24 April. The Local, 10 Grattan Square, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland
Tel: 058 41854 — From 9.30 p.m.
Wed 25 April. The Market House, Market Street, Monaghan Town, Ireland
Tel 047 38162 — Tickets €5.00 — From 8:30 p.m.
Thurs 26 April. Roots Fifty Six, The Fifty Six, Main Street, Arklow, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
Tel 087 640 4067 — Tickets €10.00 — From 8.30 p.m.
Fri 27 April. Crusoe’s Coffee Shop — First Floor, 29 Sea Road, Castlerock BT51 4TN
Tel 028 70 849618 — Tickets £40 includes dinner and wine — From 9pm (Doors 8pm)
Sat 28 April. New Music Club @ Moran’s Bar, 7 Parnell Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, Ireland
Tel 087 291 3484 — Tickets €5.00 – From 9.30 p.m.
Sun 29 April. The Blackbird, Main Street, Ballycotton, Co. Cork, Ireland
Tel 021 464 7884 — From 6:30 p.m. (Doors 6pm)