Sarah McQuaid – The St. Buryan Sessions

As one of the hardest-working musicians on the scene, Sarah McQuaid was hit hard by the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 lockdown. While many artists have tried to keep the flame alive by live-streaming, Sarah opted instead to crowd-fund an album of live tracks taken from video performances recorded last summer at the Cornish church of St. Buryan. The album will be released later in 2021, but in the meantime it has been supported by a series of singles taken from the album, supported in turn by the video performances of those songs. Martin Stansbury’s sympathetic production/engineering, the lovely medieval venue, and Sarah’s own musicianship more than make up for the absence of a live audience.

The first single was the lovely song ‘The Silence Above Us’ (Shovel And A Spade Records SAASDS2101): though I already knew it from her 2018 album If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous, it’s been revisiting my ears at frequent intervals since. I reviewed it for folking.com here.

‘Charlie’s Gone Home’ (Shovel And A Spade Records SAASDS2102) and ‘The Day Of Wrath, That Day’ (Shovel And A Spade Records SAASDS2103) were both reviewed here.

My review of the next single ‘Sweetness & Pain’ (Shovel And A Spade Records SAASDS2104) was featured here, and a stunning unaccompanied performance it is, too. (The video, not my review.)

Two more singles were announced in April:  ‘Time To Love’, a co-write with Irish singer/songwriter Gerry O’Beirne: you can find the video on Sarah’s  YouTube channel – go on, you know you want to!    The sixth single, a delightful piano/vocal version of Michael Chapman’s ‘Rabbit Hills’  premieres on YouTube on May 14th.

The full album is due for release on October 15th 2021, and there’ll be more singles and videos throughout the year. I can’t wait for the next one. 🙂

David Harley

Sarah McQuaid UK dates

Since quite a few of them are in Cornwall/the West Country 🙂

Nov 1  Teignmouth: Pavilions Teignmouth
Nov 2  Praa Sands Community Centre
Nov 3  Ivybridge: Folk On The Moor
Nov 4  Blandford Forum: Chettle Village Hall
Nov 6  Preston: The Willows Folk Club
Nov 7  Caerleon Arts
Nov 8  Farnham Maltings
Nov 9  Box (Corsham): Schtumm Extra
Nov 10  Haverhill Arts Centre
Nov 12  Felton (Morpeth): Gallery Forty5
Nov 14  York: Black Swan Folk Club
Nov 15  Ulverston: Water Yeat Village Hall
Nov 16  Buxton: The Green Man Gallery
Nov 17  East Cowton Village Hall
Nov 18  Newcastle: The Bridge Folk Club
Nov 20  Leicester: The Musician
Nov 23  Northampton: Folk By The Green
Nov 24  Hardraw: The Green Dragon Inn
Nov 25  Stockport: The Green Room @ The Plaza
Nov 28  Luton: The Hat Factory
Nov 29  Tewkesbury: The Old Baptist Chapel
Nov 30  Liskeard: Sterts Studio

(See http://www.sarahmcquaid.com/tour for details of addresses, times, ticket prices etc)

David Harley