by Al Kaufman
Rachael Sage is not a diva. Yes, she dresses in beads and baubles, and often appears in feather boas and red fishnets. Yes, in addition to being a pianist and singer/songwriter, she is also a ballerina and painter. And yes, she is so accomplished in all these areas that she has every damn right to be a diva; but she is not a diva. Instead, when she is on stage, she is prone to telling deliciously rambling, self-effacing stories about her relationship with her Jewish mother. Her gorgeous piano melodies swirl and twirl more than Stevie Nicks did in her prime, yet, at her last Atlanta show back in May, when she found out Indigo Girl Emily Sailers was in the audience, she was too nervous to even meet her. She instead had her publicist give Sailers a free copy of her latest CD, the pop nugget, Chandelier, and spent the rest of the night fretting about whether or not Sailers would like it.
This does not sound like a woman with enough chutzpah to start her own record company, but Sage founded MPress Records right out of college. Besides her own 7 CDs, Sage has also released a "New Arrivals" series of rising independent artists with proceeds going to charities. Volume three of the series was released on October 28th, and the proceeds will benefit the National Eating Disorders Association.
Sage is currently on tour to promote Volume 3, but is taking two veterans of Volume 2 with her. Chris Barron is best known as the scruffy-faced lead singer of Spin Doctors, the band that had the gargantuan hits, "Two Princes" and "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong," both written by Barron. The band broke up and Barron suffered vocal chord paralysis. He was given a 50/50 chance of ever speaking normally again. Instead, he made a full recovery and released the solo CD, Pancho and the Kid, with his friend, Jeff Cohen of Pancho's Lament. The CD showcases Barron's wide vocal range, as well as his maturity. Considered a sort of hippie goofball during his Spin Doctor days, songs such as "Can't Kick the Habit" show a more thought-provoking Barron.
Anne Heaton, the third performer in Sage's musical circus, is a Boston singer/songwriter by way of Chicago. With a soaring voice and beautiful — but sometimes barbed — lyrics, Heaton will have no problems holding her own against the two other stage veterans.
With egos nowhere to be found, expect the three to play on each other's set and cut each other up with their stories and ad libs. These are three people who simply enjoy making, and listening to, music. Expect the audience to enjoy it even more.
The New Arrivals Tour plays Eddie's Attic, Wednesday, November 5th. 8 pm $12/$15 (door)
Category: Live Reviews