The legendary blues vocalist Etta James once revealed to the Los Angeles Times that she thought “country music is like the blues, but it's something very hip and - I don't want to say commercial - but it's very worldly and good listening.”
Admittedly, James wasn’t talking about the country-influenced roots music of Sarah Cripps specifically, but the eloquence of her words lend themselves well to defining the allure of Sarah’s debut album, "Change".
While Sarah Cripps is seemingly coming out of nowhere - armed with a formidable debut record that is poised to give the americana music world a healthy dose of old-fashioned grit that it’s been missing - don’t be mistaken; even though she’s barely entered her 20s, it’s been a nearly a decade-long journey to get where she is today.
When she was just 13, the Brighton-reared singer-songwriter played one of her first breakthrough shows at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto where her enormous, soulful voice and unique musicality made the collective music industry’s jaw drop.
Worried that pressure from major record labels would rush her into completing an album that didn’t represent who she was, Sarah made the difficult decision to walk away from the industry in order to dedicate herself to becoming a completely independent artist; putting out her music on her own terms.
If the risks were big, the musical reward has been equally huge. "Change" is enriched with clever nods to her pop and rock influences to defy the constraints of standard genres.
“Ghost of A Man” is an opener that lets the power of Sarah’s voice reverberate through a rich and edgy americana texture: a brilliant portent to what lays ahead in the collection of 11 exceptional songs that are laced with raw emotion and true grit.
Tracks like “Off the Love” and “Stole the Summer” brim with a toe-tapping groove, while “Can’t See Me Here” downshifts into a pensive ballad that showcases Sarah’s razor-sharp ability to pen an intensely emotional so free of any platitudes of the typical love song.
All good things come in time. The honest integrity of an album like "Change" - and an artist like Sarah Cripps - has definitely been worth the wait.
To access a media copy of "Change" please visit:
Sarah Cripps - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Chad J Walsh - Lead Guitar & Backup Vocals
Steve Zsirai - Electric Bass, Upright Bass
Frank Goerz - Drums
Change - Sarah Cripps (Feb 2013)
Radio Single - Practice by Sarah Cripps
Radio Single - Getaway Car by Sarah Cripps
Practice EP - Sarah Cripps (2011)
Cripps Shines on Countrified Debut
[+ Show ]
I don’t know if Toronto based singer songwriter Sarah Cripps is related to celebrated guitarist Coli...I don’t know if Toronto based singer songwriter Sarah Cripps is related to celebrated guitarist Colin Cripps, but if she is, talent runs in the family. If not she is a rising star of her own.
CLICK HERE TO HEAR SARAH CRIPPS
Her new Cd “Change,” which will officially be released on Feb. 4, is an addictive selection of 11 country/ folk / pop songs.
The Brighton born Cripps, barely into her 20s has been playing in public since she was nine, played her first show at the renown Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto at age 13 and has a resident gig at the Gladstone Hotel. Her debut CD shows her experience.
She has a big, resonant, blues tinged voice with a solid mid-range that is immediately appealing. She is reminiscent of Alannah Myles on slower tracks like “Can’t See Me Here.”
But on more upbeat tracks like “No One” and “Stole the Summer,” she joins the ranks of celebrated alt-country Canadian songstresses like Kathleen Edwards and Kim Stockwood.
Tracks like “Off the Love,” are up tempo highlights and “Kissed By the Sun wouldn’t be out of place on modern Top 40 country radio.
“ Not the One ” is hauntingly beautiful with sighing slide guitar and echoing voices.
”Change“ is a captivating listen all the way through.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Artist: Sarah Cripps
Genre: folk/ pop/ country
TC Sneak Peek: ‘Off the Love’ Sarah Cripps
[+ Show ]
1)From Brighton, Ontario 2)Opened shows for the likes of Jimmy Rankin and Kevin Costner & Modern We...1)From Brighton, Ontario
2)Opened shows for the likes of Jimmy Rankin and Kevin Costner & Modern West
3)Named Best Country Artist at the Toronto Independent Music Awards
4)New album Change due out next month
EXCLUSIVE SONG SNEAK PEEK: Listen to ‘Off the Love’ from Change.
Sarah Cripps has been branding her own version of country music for well over 10 years now, and she’s only in her early 20's. Right across Canada she’s being compared to the likes of alternative-country songstresses Kathleen Edwards and Kim Stockwood. Cripps will embark on her third cross-Canadian tour in early February and we caught up with her to chat all about the new album, heading out on the road, and why she wants to go to Ireland.
Your album Change is dropping next month, describe the feeling of this finally getting out there to your fans.
There are almost too many feelings going on inside me at once. There is a ton of excitement, mixed with some vulnerability. It’s like taking a diary filled with entries from the last five years of my life and publishing it for the world to see in hopes that people will enjoy it and want to hear it over and over. But in the end, I’m just so happy to get it out there. With all the people involved in the making of this project, I have a lot of confidence in how it all turned out. I feel so lucky.
What’s your favourite song on the record?
It is a really hard thing for me to choose, because this whole record has been so close to my heart for so long, but I would have to say “Ghost of a Man”. It’s a song that I sat down with my guitar player and wrote in about half an hour, then did the same with laying down my guitar parts and my vocals. It all happened so fast, but it was the raw energy that translated into something so personal for me, and it really resonates with that exact feeling I get when I write and record any tune. I think that’s why I made it the opening song on the record, it’s basically a true tell of who I feel I really am as an artist.
You’re hitting the road in February on a cross Canadian tour. What’s your favourite part of being on the road?
My favourite part of being on the road is all the people I get to meet along the way. This will be my third national tour and it I feel fortunate to be able to spend it with the wonderful people all over this country. When we play shows, it’s such a treat to have anyone come by to say “Hi” and chat for a bit. It gives me so much inspiration that I’ll be keeping tour diary in my blog on my website.
Get to know Sarah… TC’s Quick 5
1. I never leave home without ….. My cellphone
2. The first thing I notice about someone is their ….. Boots. I’m boot obsessed!
3. I wish that for one day I could …… Write and record tunes with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys.
4. I’ve always wanted to visit ….. Ireland. Any place that takes pride in their music, their beer, their whiskey and has beautiful scenery like that, is a place for me. Plus, those accents always get me!
5. By this time next year I want to ….. Release my album and tour in the U.S and the U.K.
Silk and Steel
[+ Show ]
Sarah Cripps is just entering her twenties, but she’s already got more than a decade of experience u...Sarah Cripps is just entering her twenties, but she’s already got more than a decade of experience under her belt. The Canadian songstress has been playing since the age of nine, and has shared the stage with famous countrymen like The Barenaked Ladies, Johnny Reid, Doc Walker and Jason McCoy. Cripps delivers polished folk-county marked by steel guitar and the singer’s silken vocals. “Practice” is a lazy love song with a coy proposition. “Just think how good we’ll get if we practice,” Cripps sings. “Just Sing” is another flawless country ballad, just acoustic guitars and Cripps’ easy vibrato. If slow dancing’s not your style, skip to “Getaway Car,” a bluesy caveat where electric guitars lash out and the tambourine shakes like a rattlesnake. Cripps is already a pro, and she’s just getting started. Then again, practice makes perfect.
Sarah Cripps talks her country sound, Sheryl Crow, and singing drunk?
[+ Show ]
She’s not even 21 yet and Sarah Cripps is taking the Canadian country world by storm. After a succe...She’s not even 21 yet and Sarah Cripps is taking the Canadian country world by storm. After a successful launch of her first single, “Practice”, she has just released a second single, “Getaway Car”. After recording in studios in both Toronto and Nashville, she’s super busy promoting her music all across the country but she took a few moments to talk to On The GO in TO about breaking into the country music scene:
You’ve been in the music biz for 10 years now, what was your first gig?
I picked up the guitar at the age of 7, and my parents say they didn’t see me come out of my room for two years. I practiced and practiced until that day when I finally had my first show when I was 9, performing in front of an auditorium of people at the local high school. I played a blues song called “It Hurt So Bad”. It probably was so amusing for everyone watching to hear a 9 year old singing the blues. But ever since then, I caught the bug and have been performing every where I could.
If you weren’t playing music, what would you be doing?
I would definitely be involved in the music industry. Although it’s tough business, I can’t picture myself without a love for music and I know the industry would always pull me in. I guess I would find myself involved in marketing or managing…. something that lets me express myself creatively.
What’s been your most embarrassing on-stage experience?
My most embarrassing moment on stage was on the East Coast. We had to take the overnight boat to Newfoundland and while on it we each had a drink or two at the bar. On this boat, one drink feels like five because of the motion of the waves. There was a performer on the boat and one of my band mates told her that I was a singer and she invited me up to play a few tunes. So I got up there and was singing my heart out… until I got dizzy and my face fell towards the mic and I smacked it off my teeth so hard (mid-song) I thought I was bleeding, but I kept going. Everyone had a good laugh!
What drew you to a country sound?
I think it was the realness and honesty of both the recordings and the songwriting. There are few genres these days that still record as organic as country is recorded. With the power of digital recordings these days, real musicians aren’t needed like they used to be, but country keeps things raw and real cutting tracks in a take or two.You’ve been traveling all across the country promoting your music.
Is the process exhausting getting your music heard or is it always exciting?
It’s a bit of both. I have an amazing time meeting new people everyday and every time I travel it is a learning experience. But the most grueling part is spending so much time in the van. There is usually two or three of us and it can get quite crowded. I also find it SO hard to eat healthy and stay in shape. I usually have to spend a month cleansing and whipping myself back into shape when I get off the road.
Do you find Canadian radio supportive for emerging artists?
I definitely find Canadian radio to be supportive, but I think the hard part is proving yourself one of those “emerging artists.” There are so many artists with so much talent these days, but sadly that isn’t all it takes. With the business these days, record companies don’t have the money they used to have to pour into artists, so not as many people get the same opportunities. It seems as an independent artist you have to create your own opportunities because no one is going hand them over. I like to travel across the country to meet the radio industry and personally introduce myself in order to prove myself and become one of those “emerging artists.” I try to show them that I plan to be around for a while.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
I think my dream collaboration would be with either one of my biggest influences: Sheryl Crow or Miranda Lambert. I think their edgy roots feel is one that I’ve always looked up to. Many songs that I write have that same feel. There is a touch of that feel on my EP and my upcoming full album, which is already written, is filled with it. To write a song with either of them would just make for an awesome sound!
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever gotten about your music?
The best compliment I’ve ever received is that someone had my song stuck in their head… and preferably liked it [laughs]. I definitely strive to write relatable songs that have a hook that will always catch a person’s ear and hopefully stay there! And when it happens… I love it!
CD Review: Sarah Cripps’s EP
[+ Show ]
Don’t be fooled by the name. This EP slings warm vocals and pedal steel guitar glides, not pistols a...Don’t be fooled by the name. This EP slings warm vocals and pedal steel guitar glides, not pistols and shivs.
Although I am not much of a country music fan myself, I was pleasantly surprised by Sarah Cripps’s first EP offering. At just 19 years old, Cripps is slowly but surely working her way onto the Canadian country music scene. According to her official website, Cripps has been working in the music industry for 10 years—the results of which can clearly be heard with just one listen of her EP.
Cripps has a strong command of her vocals, and does a brilliant job of balancing them between country and mainstream without wavering too far one way or the other. For me, it was this balance, and the promise of greater vocals to come, that kept me listening past the EP’s first offering, “Getaway Car.”
“Getaway Car,” although I’m sure a strong piece for country music lovers, was a bit hard for me to take right off the bat—and nearly spooked me off of the EP entirely. The vocals, instrumental arrangement, and lyrics immediately drowned me in “country,” and were exactly what I expected from a stereotypical country song. That being said, Cripps’ vocal range and passion did a great job of carrying this song off.
“You Got Me,” although containing heaps of my personal mortal enemy—the dreaded steel pedal guitar—was the song that really sparked my interest in the rest of the EP. Silky vocals and endearing lyrics worked together beautifully to form a softer country offering, which also has the potential for mainstream appeal.
Things only get better with “Practice.” Pun intended. This is the song where the EP peaked for me. It was pleasant, appealing, warm, and showcases Cripps’s talents extraordinarily well. The EP’s last two songs, “Just Sing,” and “Me,” continue this strengthening trend, as well as up the beat count significantly.
All in all, I think that Cripps’s EP is really strong country offering—that has the potential for broad mainstream appeal. For more information about this up and coming Canadian country artist, you can check out what Cripps is up to on her Facebook page
, twitter feed (sarah_cripps), MySpace account or her official website
SARAH CRIPPS CD REVIEW
[+ Show ]
“Practice” Sarah Cripps (Last Tango) *** Here is the debut E.P. from a promising young artist. If t...“Practice” Sarah Cripps (Last Tango) ***
Here is the debut E.P. from a promising young artist. If these 5 songs are any indication, this young lady will be a very big deal in country music in the near future.
She’s only 19, but her bio claims she’s already been in the music business for a decade. Having shared the stage with Barenaked Ladies, Doc Walker, Johnny Reid and Jason McCoy, she got the attention of producer/ engineer David Kalmusky (Emerson Drive, The Wilkinsons, The Road Hammers) and producer/ songwriter David Martin, cutting songs in world renowned studios between Nashville and Toronto. So yeah she’s country, but not like that annoying, cookie-cutter crap that Nashville usually cranks out. These songs are loaded with emotion and, as a good E.P. should, they make you want to hear more. With a voice wise and seasoned beyond her years, Sarah Cripps is most definitely on the way to the top.
Hot Spots: “Just Sing”, “You Got Me”
Sarah Cripps, Practice
[+ Show ]
Sarah Cripps is only 19 but with a decade of experience under her belt she has caught the ears of po...Sarah Cripps is only 19 but with a decade of experience under her belt she has caught the ears of powerhouse producer David Kalmusky (Emerson Drive, The Road Hammers) and songwriter David Martin (Adam Gregory, Hemingway Corner) and this quick 5-song EP does the job of leaving you wanting more.
Innocently entitled, Practice, it becomes quite clear from the get-go on pop-country rocker “Getaway Car” that Cripps is an experienced singer with a naturally powerful voice that can ache, “He had a way of walking, that made a girl’s head turn around” without it sounding forced. Over and over again, Cripps works her magic especially on the soaring “You Got Me” the steamy title track and both “Just Sing” and “Me” could have been standard country-pop affairs but Cripps brings all of them to a whole new level with her honest portrayals.
If I had to place a bet on one female singer to make waves in the next couple of years, Sarah Cripps would definitively take the lead; Strong production team, catchy and consistently enjoyable songs along with Cripps own versatility as a musician (she can easily go edgier or be a polished baby-face) there is no reason for Country music fans and record companies to eat this up. (Independent)
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Cripps releases first CD
[+ Show ]
Two things hit me right away when I listened to Sarah Cripps' new CD Practice. Firstly, I wondered ...Two things hit me right away when I listened to Sarah Cripps' new CD Practice.
Firstly, I wondered why I hadn't heard of the well-polished singer before. Secondly, with only five songs on the release, I was left wanting to hear more from this talented country rock musician.
I was shocked to learn she was only 19 years old. Her 10 years in the music industry show though in just five songs. Sarah certainly has the talent and a recognizable sound to make some noise on the charts. Producer, mixer and engineer David Kalmusky (Emerson Drive, The Wilkinsons, The Road Hammers) knows what it takes to have a successful CD. Producer and songwriter David Martin (Adam Gregory, Hemmingway Corner, Sony ATV) also added his input to the new project.
The first song "Getaway Car" grabbed my attention right away. It is an up tempo song that pulls you in and leaves you wanting to play it again to learn the words.
"You Got me" and "Practice" are ballads that show off Sarah's ability to slow it down, but still earn your ear. Cripps is launching Practice as the first single.
"Just Sing" instantly had me thinking this was a tune that probably reflects her life of trials and tribulation on getting to where the singer is now. It has you thinking this is her life that she is singing to others.
"Me" is back to the country rock mode that suits her. It reminded me of another Canadian, Shania Twain. If you can compare Cripps to Twain, that can't be a bad thing. Her style of telling a story with high energy is a trait that will take her far in the music business. Although she just completed a tour of Western Canada, I certainly can picture her on stage at Camrose's Big Valley Jamboree outdoor music festival in the not too distant future.
Sarah has already excelled as a seasoned songwriter and singer at such a young age but her electric performances have led her to share the stage with the likes of The Barenaked Ladies, Johnny Reid, Doc Walker, and Jason McCoy.
With definite promise showing on her CD, Sarah will soon make a name for herself quickly in the west.
Country singer Sarah Cripps
[+ Show ]
BRIGHTON - Sarah Cripps believes her time is "now." That's why the local singer hasn't wasted any...BRIGHTON - Sarah Cripps believes her time is "now."
That's why the local singer hasn't wasted any time getting noticed on the country scene.
Two weeks ago, the Brighton resident released her debut single to the Canadian country music charts.
"My style is country, but a little more mainstream," said Cripps. "Think more of a Taylor Swift, Keith Urban pop feel."
"I've been singing since I can remember," says Cripps, adding that she did her very first performance when she was nine, two years after she started playing guitar.
Her song, Practice, has been featured on local country station Cool 100.
"I've hired a tracker to watch the charts and report how well the song is doing," says Cripps. "It's doing good so far."
Aside from releasing her first single, Cripps also promoted her music by touring across the country last year.
Cripps and her band started in British Columbia and went all the way to NewFoundland, playing at bars, pubs and local events.
"It took about a month to book everything, but we had a lot of fun."
Her producers, David Kalmusky and David Martin, have been instrumental in helping achieve her success so far.
"They have just believed in me so much."
Kalmusky has worked with other country stars such as Emerson Drive, the Wilkinsons and the Road Hammers.
They've also helped her produce her first five-song EP.
"Doing a full album would just be too costly right now, so we're working on that for next year."
Cripps has been splitting her recording time between her home country and Nashville, Tennessee.
She's been recording at Phase 1 in Toronto, Escarpment Sound in Acton and the Blue Loft Studio in Nashville.
"Everyone from Rush to U2 to Hilary Duff has recorded at Phase 1, it was really surreal for me."
Although her producers have helped her out a lot, Cripps said she wouldn't have gotten as far without the support of her parents.
"I have the most supportive parents ever, they always knew this is what I'd do."
She said her parents do worry about her, though, and offer a lot of advice.
"My Dad has really helped me out with the business side of things," she said. "I love music and I love the industry."
Sarah Cripps shows that "Practice" makes perfect.
[+ Show ]
Sarah Cripps may only be 19 years old, but her velvety voice sounds like a young Barbara Mandrell wh...Sarah Cripps may only be 19 years old, but her velvety voice sounds like a young Barbara Mandrell who sang the 1981 number one country music hit, "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool".
Her debut 5-song, extended play CD Practice showcases exactly what Cripps has to offer, which is a fresh voice on the country music scene.
A native of Brighton, Ont., Cripps has shared the stage with music industry veterans like The Barenaked Ladies, Johnny Reid, Doc Walker and Jason McCoy and, as her biography states, has already been in the industry for ten years.
Practice includes fast, catchy tracks like “Getaway Car”, a song about a bad boy, and slow, melodic ballads about new love, like the title track, all with a tinge of country twang.
The start has always been clear, it’s the end that’s missing. Do the pieces fit here? Can I keep pretending?- You Got Me, Sarah Cripps.
Cripps says she added her personal favorite “You Got Me” at the last minute.
“I wrote it in a totally different genre as a personal project, but then it turned into this, which in the end I loved, and had to add,” Cripps said. “It was one of those songs that really let me pull from a personal experience of a broken relationship I was in during the time, and helped me get a lot off my chest. So it really means a lot to me to this day every time I play it.”
Cripps pulled inspiration for Practice from a variety of situations.
“My peers, everyday experiences and other artists as well as my music industry peers, like my producers, have helped me grow as an artist and have really inspired a big part of my sound,” Cripps said.
It wouldn’t be fair to clump Cripps in the same group as Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood; her sound is different.
“I’ve always listened to a very wide variety of music growing up, but yes country and roots music was definitely something I always found myself turning the channel to,” Cripps said. “Artists like The Dixie Chicks, Miranda Lambert and Neil Young were big influences on me growing up.”
Cripps recorded some of her album in Nashville, Tenn. and in Toronto and has been busy promoting the E.P.
“We toured the country in a van at the end of last year and have been touring Ontario since then.” Cripps said.
Practice is just a little over 17 minutes long, and can appeal to both country and pop music lovers.
With already more than an album’s worth of songs to record since the 2010 release of Practice, Cripps is currently on a western Ontario radio tour.
“One album at a time, but I’m just itching to get back in the studio,” Cripps said. “I play a lot of new songs I like as well, because I can’t wait for people to hear them!”
Practice is available on Itunes and samples of her music can be found on her official website: www.sarahcripps.com.
[+ Show ]
Only 19, but with ten years in the music industry under Sarah Cripps’ belt, there is no better time ...Only 19, but with ten years in the music industry under Sarah Cripps’ belt, there is no better time for this fresh artist to burst onto the scene. Her undeniable talent and recognizable sound has caught the attention of not one, but TWO top ten charting record producers who instantly decided to collaborate with Sarah to establish her among the best. This creative powerhouse team of songwriters and producers have launched an exciting sound that can not be ignored. Producer / Mixer / Engineer: David Kalmusky (Emerson Drive, The Wilkinsons, The Road Hammers), Producer / Songwriter: David Martin (Adam Gregory, Hemmingway Corner, Sony ATV) and Sarah have completed almost half the record in world renown studios between Toronto and Nashville with some of the most noted players in the industry.
However, she refuses to stop there; continuing to team up with some of the most decorated songwriters in the business, expanding her already extensive catalogue of songs. Not only has Sarah excelled as a seasoned songwriter and singer at such a young age but her electric performances have lead her to share the stage with the likes of The Barenaked Ladies,
Johnny Reid, Doc Walker, and Jason McCoy. Her natural talent has already proven itself by attracting leading industry members and she revels the opportunity to reach the masses. Sarah's determination has lead her to tour the nation from coast to coast in 2010, and she expects to continue to do so multiple times in the next year to come. With definite promise Sarah is certain to build a long and powerful career in the music industry.