Interview: Sarah Jarosz @ Eddie’s Attic 11/21

[ 0 ] November 21, 2013 |
Photo by Scott Simontacchi

Photo by Scott Simontacchi

By Lindsey Borders

With her recent album, Build Me Up from Bones, receiving critical and fan acclaim, Sarah Jarosz has had a great year with 2013. At only 22 years of age, Sarah has accomplished many feats for her young age, with experience well beyond years. She is Grammy-nominated, and a multi-instrumentalist having received a degree in music at the New England Conservatory. Originally from and based in Austin, Texas, she has toured all over the United States and Canada, along with high-profile festivals, including the popular arts, music and activism festival, Forecastle that takes place every summer in Louisville, Kentucky. Supporting her on the tour are musicians Alex Hargreaves on fiddle and Nathaniel Smith on cello.

We chatted with Sarah about her Grammy nominations, her performances and musicianship, among other things. She’s a delight to talk to, and we enjoyed our time with her. Read on to discover more about Sarah and her music:

Are you so excited about your upcoming sold-out show at Eddie’s Attic?

Sarah: Yeah, I’m super-excited. I love that venue. I played there once before and it’s definitely one of the best shows on that tour. I can’t wait to get back; it was really awesome, and the food was so good!

Do you eat their sweet potato fries? They’re so good!

Sarah: Yeah, I think I had those, and I think I had Mac N’ Cheese and Fried Chicken or something, but it was so good {laughs}.

How does it feel to be a Grammy-nominated artist, and with that, do you feel there is more pressure on you to pursue a certain kind of song and lyrics?

Sarah: I mean, it’s obviously an honor to have that happen, especially being so young when it happened. It was always a dream of mine to have that happen in the first place, so yeah, for sure, it was a thrill. But, I mean, in terms of the pressure, I think that it’s a great thing to have happened, but that’s also not a reason why I do what I do. It’s a really amazing added bonus of an awesome thing to have happened. You know, but it’s like, it happened, and I wanted to keep pushing myself more than that, I wanted to keep growing as an artist, regardless of whether that happened (being nominated for a Grammy) or not. It’s a really cool thing and I had a blast at the ceremony, but it’s also like, this happened, so I have to keep moving forward. I certainly don’t make my music to try to fit in that vibe, but if it happens to do that, that’s awesome.

Absolutely! Who or what encouraged you to enroll in the New England Conservatory of Music?

Sarah: I mean I had always wanted to go to college to study music, and I think I kind of knew that at a pretty early age, and also just to have a college experience, and not to skip over that time in my life. I definitely knew that I wanted to move to Boston, just because a lot of the friends that I had made in music camps were moving there, so I was sure on that front, and I was sort of torn between Berklee at that point. I heard about NEC through Aoife O’Donovan who was in the band, Crooked Still, and she was kind of the first person who told me about the program and how great it was. So, you know, after hearing about it from her, I checked it out, and it seemed a really good fit for me. I’m really glad that I decided to go through with them, because it was an awesome four years, and I think it offered everything musically and non-musically I was looking for.

Cool! Is there anything special that was recorded during the making of your new record, Build Me Up From Bones? Any surprises for your fans that you progressed upon from your first two albums?

Sarah: Totally, I mean, I think the songs I felt really confident about this time around — not that I didn’t before. Having done it (recorded) three times and really having more of a vision going into the recording process of what I wanted the overall thing to sound like. I think a lot of that had to do with the guys I play with, Al and Nat. That’s a definitely a big difference from my last two, including them more… I did more co-writing on this record too, like “Over The Edge,” and “Mile On The Moon” I co-wrote with my good friend Jeff Hughes because up until that point, writing had been a solo venture for me. I was a little hesitant to go down that road, but I think it added a lot to the songs, and I’m glad I got to write with Darrell Scott, who’s one of my biggest heroes. One really awesome, unexpected thing to happen was having Dan Dugmore play on the record. He was really involved in the 60s California folk-scene, and played with Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor, folks like that. That was a really, wonderful addition to the songs. That’s pretty cool when stuff like that happens.

Yes, it is! What has been your most memorable performing experience, thus far?

Sarah: Oooh man, that’s a tough one…Anytime I get to sit in with my heroes is always a big thrill. I think that’s a big part of why I wanted to keep playing music in the first place. When I was growing up, having the chance to be so close to so many of my musical heroes and getting to play with them. I guess I always say one of the most important performances of my life so far was at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2007. That was my first time to have my own set there and that’s where I met Gary Paczosa who I’ve co-produced all of my records with. Meeting him led to me signing with Sugar Hill Records, so it just felt like a really big turning point in my life. It was also when I first started really thinking, “Okay, maybe this can be my career and I can make a life out of this,” as opposed to it being a fun hobby.

What is your guilty music or entertainment pleasure?

Sarah: Ohhh man! Umm, I like to watch the Food Network a lot. I guess I don’t anymore now that I don’t really have a TV. Musically, I don’t know what would be guilty. I love so much stuff and I’m not guilty about it [laughs]. That’s a tough question. I guess, maybe some music from the 80s might be a little guilty [laughs]. Then there’s so much music from the 80s that is great, so I don’t know. It’s a tough one.

Sarah’s show tonight at Eddie’s Attic is SOLD OUT! Hope you got your tickets and enjoy the show!

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Category: Gigs, Interviews

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