Cervantes' & The Walnut Room Present Sarah Siskind w/ Travis Book of The Infamous Stringdusters

Sarah Siskind

Sarah Siskind has been called "the best female singer/songwriter in America today" (Steve Binder, legendary TV director/producer) and "an artist you must hear" by Spin Magazine. She has toured with Bon Iver (he has also famously covered her "Lovin's For Fools") and The Swell Season, written songs for Alison Krauss (the GRAMMY nominated "Simple Love") and Randy Travis. Sarah has performed live on NPR's Tiny Desk, World Cafe with David Dye and her music has been featured on NPR's All Songs Considered and NPR's Song Of The Day. Her previous album, Say It Louder, was called "a masterpiece" by Bonnie Raitt.

In July of 2010, Sarah Siskind found herself thousands of miles from her Tennessee home in a small ranch house just outside of Boulder. Escaping the oppressive southern summer heat for six weeks, she took temporary roots in Colorado while teaching songwriting at a nearby festival and touring the southwest. Her intent was to finish writing the songs for her new album, Novel, during her downtime.

Just out of a five-year publishing deal on Nashville’s Music Row, Sarah was inspired by the idea of exploring her sound as a musician and her vision as an artist. Bathing in this newfound freedom, her creativity burgeoned and she was soon setting up a microphone in the spare bedroom and hitting record.

It began with the recording of a simple guitar and vocal track for "Nowhere In The Middle", a song that explores the dangers of loving someone too much. Unable to put the track away, she found herself in the kitchen pantry grabbing salt canisters, dry rice, and oatmeal boxes to create a percussion section. She made a snare out of a storage box with sheets of paper taped to the top. Swept away by the muse, Sarah would continue to record the rest of the songs this way, finishing it with just one microphone, several guitars (including her beloved Gibson, Larry), and "found sounds” from her home back in Nashville. Sarah engineered, tracked and produced “Novel” with no boundaries, no one else in the room, on her own.

Despite her isolation, the theme of the album became human connection and no single song onNovel illustrates that better than the title track, a song that reminisces about ‘old-fashioned’ pre-internet friendship and courtship. “Growing up, the thought of using technology to connect with another human never crossed my mind," says Sarah. "People dropped by, there were hours upon hours of sitting on a floor talking with friends and family, and we listened to and played music together."

Novel's lead track is "Yellow and Blue", an Alice in Wonderland-esque take on wandering into uncharted territory, whether it be a stranger's garden or a new relationship. "I had the most vividimagination as a child, always craving that buzz of a new experience...I hope I never lose that."What follows is songwriting study touching on emotional chapters we all face: shouting up to ask for relief ("Take Me"), falling head over heels ("Feeling For You", "I Think About Love"), breaking down ("Crying On A Plane", "You're Still There"), children growing up and out ("Welcome Home"), and fighting with and for love ("Nowhere In The Middle", "Rescue You"). The closing track is a raw and chugging version of the spiritual "Didn't It Rain", made famous by Mahalia Jackson. The tambourine sounds are children's instruments Sarah strapped to her ankles.

Sarah makes jewelry from charms, beads and the like that she finds while on the road and sells them on Etsy and at her live gigs. Though wheat/dairy free, Sarah can (thankfully) still drink good beer and shares recipes, tips and restaurant/brewery suggestions on her food blog. Born and raised in North Carolina, she makes her home in Virginia.

Travis Book of The Infamous Stringdusters

From Colorado to Nelson County, VA by way of Nashville, TN, Travis Book has always been drawn to the mountains and it’s music. As an upright bassist, Travis plays coast to coast in the genre-bending bluegrass band, The Infamous Stringdusters, but recently he’s found inspiration in the guitar, writing songs andplaying solo near his mountain home in Nelson County. High Country music from Virginia’s high country.

$10.00 - $12.00


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