SARAH BLACKER
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SARAH BLACKER

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009

Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Music

Press


"Lee's Listening Stack: the Best the Month has to Offer"

"Pardon the pun, but Sarah Blacker is one of the brighter artists to grab our attention recently. With a revelatory vocal that veers from a child’s skittish enthusiasm to the essence of emotion, she’s equally adept when it comes to expressive melodies, Her latest album – her second to date – is aptly entitled Come What May and it forebodes what seems to be the evolution of a most promising career. Opener “Drivin’” is, in itself, enough to convince, a brash, exhilarating intro that makes the rest of the album all the more anticipated. Other highlights include the seductive title track, the reflective (though not necessarily religious) “I’m Like a Train, My Lord” and the affirmative, assertive entry “Humble Man,” another track that belies its title. Such remarkable and consistent quality is unusual, but in Blacker’s case it’s certainly no fluke. A new EP, which carries another unlikely title, Perfectly Imperfect, offers an enticing preview of her next album due later this year. So chalk her up as one of the more delightful discoveries of the past year, and let’s hope that indeed there are Blacker days ahead." - No Depression


"Featured Artist, February 2011"

“Sarah Blacker has the kind of voice that bends, swirls, flies high and goes down low without ever losing any of its power. Though it is control and an understanding of its power that allows that tone its potential, Sarah manages to deliver in a manner that lets the songs live in texture rather than technique.” - The Alternate Root Magazine


"'Come What May' CD Review"

“There are few singer/songwriters in Boston who will be remembered for years to come. However, Sarah Blacker’s enchanting voice and pinpoint sense of melody put her on pace
to outlast most passing trends.” - Performer Magazine


"Sarah Blacker Chases her Dream"

“There aren’t many people who can teach themselves how to play guitar. There aren’t many people who can write sinuous, provocative song lyrics…then again, there aren’t many people like Sarah Blacker. With her sharp, clean and powerful voice, Blacker has been compared to everyone from Joni Mitchell to Ella Fitzgerald. With lines that read, “I know you’ve got a dream, but am I in it?/ I know you’ve got a head, but do I spin it?/ Do I rattle your bones?/ Can I take you home, and casually begin it?” it’s easy to understand why “Smell of Caramel” is Blacker’s favorite song on her first album. The only hard part is imagining why any man would answer those questions with “no.” - the Weekender Eastern PA


"WERS Live Music Series"

"Performing "Smitten" live on Tuesday, Blacker showed off her impressive dynamic range as much as her melodic reach. She moves from a breathy whisper to a commanding presence within one or two verses, and has a warm and full tone to her voice that brings the likes of Joni Mitchell... She picks and strums her black small-body acoustic like a painter personalizing a palette of colors; the individual sounds do not mean as much as the overall atmosphere her songs create." - Jake Sorgen, WERS fm, Boston


"‘First Lady of Song(writers)’ 8/27/10"

“Sarah Blacker is an old soul in a modern woman’s body… fans and music scribes up and down the Eastern seaboard swoon to her sultry, emotionally charged music. One crit even mused that Blacker is “the perfect blend of Ella Fitzgerald and Joni Mitchell.” …there are good reasons Blacker inspires fawning hyperbole.” - Seven Days, VT


"Interview with SB"

“Sarah’s website describes her as a catchy songwriter with influences spanning from acoustic rock to jazz and paints her as part Joni Mitchell and part Norah Jones. These are fair assessments, but only give up part of the tale. Blacker’s accomplished playing on instruments as varied as the guitar, percussion, and mandolin mean that she is no reluctant songwriter thrust into the spotlight, but a real songwriting musician capable of hanging with any of the Hub’s brightest offerings. Her buzz is growing with high praise from local press and radio” - Live Music and Review


"'Come What May' review"

“Some singers have a rock voice and a folk voice that could be two different people, but Blacker doesn’t need to do that. Over all, what is clear is that Blacker has a clear sense of the subtleties of human emotion, and she can write songs of finely shaded emotion… Come What May is the kind of album that will start conversations about how each song should be interpreted. That is something that only fine songwriters achieve. Sarah Blacker proves here that she belongs in their company, and she backs it up with the quality of her performance.” - Oliver Di Place Music Blog


"Music Scene: Sarah Blacker stays truer to herself on new CD"

“The most arresting song on the new album is “I’m Like a Train, My Lord,” which Blacker sings solo, with just her guitar. Blacker sings it as soaring folk-gospel, providing plenty of emotional power and uplift, yet uncovering all manner of exquisite subtlety in the melody. More striking still, while singing she’s also playing guitar with some delicate finger-picking lines that are equally stunning. It would be an impressive performance for either a guitarist or vocalist, but to have someone do both simultaneously is impressive.”
- the Patriot Ledger


"New Music this Week! Someone You Should Know"

“Sarah Blacker is a very pretty woman but the real beauty evident here immediately are the notes of these songs. Blacker’s new album, Come What May is released this week and it’s meeting the right ears. Music plays a much more profound role for Blacker than with other singers. I wouldn’t have believed this until the depth of her devotion to music Blacker appeared on Fox25 here in Boston this week, a rare but well deserved chance to be seen by thousands. A more compassionate soul devoted to music you may never see. I can’t help but wonder is Blacker is capable of helping us all through her music? Definitely One to Watch in 2011, this is Sarah Blacker.” - Ryan's Smashing Life Music Blog


"Feb 2011 Artist Feature"


“Sarah Blacker has the kind of voice that bends, swirls, flies high and goes down low without ever losing any of its power. Though it is control and an understanding of its power that allows that tone its potential, Sarah manages to deliver in a manner that lets the songs live in texture rather than technique.” - The Alternate Root Magazine


"CD Review 'Come What May'"

“Sarah Blacker’s got a talent far and above what most singers can deliver. Her work is soulful, powerfully emotional, and can make you laugh, cry, or just forget whatever it is you’re thinking about and be absorbed by the music. Such is the case with Come What May, Blacker’s sophomore album and a continuation of her unique lyrical abilities and compelling songwriting. Listen to this album and you’re a few steps closer to knowing the woman behind the words. Do yourself a favor and listen to it twice.” - the Noise, Boston


"Sarah Blacker: A Shining Light in the Local Music Scene"

August 8,2008
Sarah Blacker isn't just another girl with a guitar. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Blacker is a board-certified Music Therapist who's been making tunes since grade school. A talented local musician, Blacker plays shows regularly in and around the Boston area.

Blacker creates jazzy folk music that is reminiscent of early Ani DiFranco. She collaborates a lot with other musicians, so her songs have a wide range of sounds. You can also hear her vast spectrum of influences come across musically, from Joni Mitchell to the Beatles. In fact, she does an amazing cover of the Beatles' "Girl", available for listening on her MySpace.

"I always had dreams as a child of putting on one woman shows where I was doing acrobatics, dancing and singing at the top of my lungs," Blacker shared. She always felt better after making up songs so she hasn't stopped.

An incredibly hard-working artist, she writes an average of 5-6 songs per week. "I tend to write songs when I'm feeling overwhelmed by something in life," she stated. Lately, Blacker has been writing songs in her sleep, waking up "in the middle of the night" and singing into her tape recorder!

She's got enough music knowledge and experience to back her up, so don't take her lightly. The musician has definitely experienced the music industry pushing her "to become a sex symbol" and assuming she knows nothing about music. Blacker would rather be seen as "a quirky little entity" and fortunately finds the acoustic music network to be very supportive.

A self-described "do-it-yourself kind of gal," she is in the process of writing and recording a new album all on her own at home in Cambridge. "There's nothing that compares to singing in your PJ's," Blacker said. She also plans on playing most of the instruments on the new album herself, honing the skills she developed while at Berklee. The album is slated for release in the spring on 2009 with a tour to follow so be on the lookout!

For more info, check out:

myspace.com/sarahblacker
sarahblacker.com
- Kerry Cardoza, SouthCoast247.com


"‘Songstress Sarah Blacker on Verge of Stardom’"

Since she first picked up a guitar, Sarah Blacker has been a song-writing machine, penning more than 400 songs by the time she recorded her debut album, “The Only Way Out Is Through” – an appealing collection of rootsy pop.

“When I was 17, my best friend began playing guitar, so I started taking lessons myself,” said Blacker. “I wrote 50 songs right away – literally every time I sat down with the guitar, I wrote a song. A lot of those only exist today on my old cassettes.”

Blacker’s songs are arresting for their honesty and immediacy, not to mention her skill at turning a phrase, and those gorgeous pop melodies.

“Over the years, I’ve written about 400, and came in to the studio with 50 I liked. We knocked that down to 30 pretty quickly, and then zeroed in on these 11,” said Blacker about the selections on the CD, which will be feted at a release party tonight at the Hard Rock Cafe’s Cavern Club in Boston. The multi-act lineup begins at 9 p.m. and includes Weymouth songwriter Kimberly Bomba, singer Justin Molaison from the rock band Full Tilt, and, closing the night after Blacker’s 10 p.m. set, Scituate’s Girls Guns & Glory. (Tickets are $10, and $1 of every ticket goes to breast cancer research.)

Blacker grew up in Wellesley and lives in Cambridge. Her parents are Hull residents. She said her music study was mostly classical voice and piano until her teen years.

“After that I went to Berklee College of Music, not because I wanted to study a ton of jazz, but simply because it was the best music school. As it turned out of course, I ended up studying a whole lot of jazz.”

Blacker graduated with a degree in music therapy and went to work with special needs children. The tightening economy saw many programs reduce their music therapy, so Blacker found her full-time job reduced to a handful of hours a week. She also missed performing, and Ward Hayden of Girls Guns & Glory was among many friends and colleagues who encouraged her to return to the stage.

“I had met Ward at Toad, and while I’ve seen a lot of singer-songwriters, I was very impressed with him,” she said. “We began spending time together and I got to know his whole band, and we did a few shows together. We began exploring doing duets, and came up with a whole lot of material.”

When Blacker decided to record her debut CD, she tapped the same people Girls, Guns & Glory used – Scituate’s Noise in the Attic Studio and Rockland’s 37’ Productions.

“Hearing Girls Guns & Glory’s last CD was the main reason I wanted to record in Scituate,” Blacker said. “You hear so many bands whose albums are OK, but have nothing special about their sound. Their album had such a level of quality and particularly with the sound, I just knew Rob Loyot’s studio was where I wanted to be.”

Adds Blacker: “I got to really appreciate the different pace in Scituate. It was great to separate myself from the chaos and maelstrom of the city, in a place so cozy and quiet.”

Blacker’s voice is alto/soprano with an engaging childlike quality, yet she uses it with utter confidence, affecting sweet intimacy in places, strength and resolve in others, and quiet passion in tunes like “Bad I Been.” And her lyrics and unique and compelling; you have to love a line like “days like today are good for nothing but eating dark chocolate ...” from “Smell of Caramel.” And the intriguing ambivalence behind “Story Song,” with its chorus “I know that you’re leaving, but still, you take my breath away” is only one reason it evokes the best of Joni Mitchell. In another place, “I Should Speak” is the type of dreamy pop that made stars of Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs.

“Some of my songs are autobiographical,” Blacker said. “Generally, I write a song when a situation arises that I can’t make sense of, so lots of them are autobiographical in that regard. But I also try to make my songs not just be about me, but have elements other people can identify with.”

Blacker scheduled six CD release shows across New England, and this one will be the fifth. She’s already done CD release shows in Portland, Maine, and New London, Conn., and her CD has been popping up on local radio, like WUMB. She’s also playing every Wednesday night in November at Toad in Cambridge. - the Patriot Ledger


"album review, 'The Only Way Out is Through'"

SARAH BLACKER
Rumble Bee Records
The Only Way Out Is Through
11-song CD
I like Sarah’s disc; she certainly takes you on a ride. I admit the first track with the kinda goofy mandolin made me think of some ephemeral country folk pop riff-raff. Her voice, though is fabulous (please tell me there’s no pitch correction here Sarah, PLEASE). I started hearing a Natalie Merchant-type timbre… and yes, though a down-in-the-mud-rocker resides in my soul, I really enjoy these lighter shades. Another complimentary aside to Sarah’s voice, I might mention Dolores O’Riordan. I like the fact that Sarah is a music therapist, it’s extremely cool. Finally the world is waking up and realizing that music is not just a flagrant plastic commercial throwaway. I’m sure study of music as therapy certainly alludes to the elusive quality of quality, to tongue tie a phrase for you. That nonsense being said, Sarah has produced a quality work with a great understanding of what it takes to deliver a musical message. (Mike Loce) - the Noise Boston


"Candy O'Terry"

“I wanted to reach out to you [sb] and let you know…singer to singer…that your voice is absolutely unique…memorable...incredible.”…“I believe she’s a young artist that our listeners should know about, and I love the fact that she’s an artist with a social conscience. She’s a local singer to watch, that’s for sure.” - Magic 106.7 FM


"Vineyard Playhouse Show Review"

“Between songs, Ms. Blacker charmed the crowd with short intros and a little repartee with the audience. Her naturalness, sense of humor, and easy laugh gave the evening the feel of hanging out with a few close friends.”

- the Martha's Vineyard Times


"Wellesley Townsman Front Page Feature"

Wellesley —
Throughout the month of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Wellesley Townsman is telling the stories of the men and women affected by breast cancer, as well those who are working to find a cure.

Sarah Blacker could have thrown a traditional party to celebrate her first CD release. Instead, the former Wellesley resident is using her connections to turn the event into a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness.

“Almost everyone I know has a connection to breast cancer,” said Blacker, 26. “It being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, what better cause than to put on a party and raise money and raise awareness about breast cancer [while] fulfilling my biggest dream to date?”

The Wellesley High School Class of 2001 graduate will be performing at the Hard Rock Café in

Details

What: Sarah Blacker CD release party with Girls, Guns & Glory

Why: A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales and a silent auction will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

When: Oct. 16

Where: Hard Rock Café in Boston; must be 21 or older

Time: 8 p.m.

Tickets: $10 if bought before the show. If available, $12 tickets will be sold at the door the night of the show. Tickets can be bought at www.ticketweb.com/t3/event/EventListings?orgId=15107
Boston on Oct. 16. One dollar from every ticket sold will go the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Blacker has rallied local artists and friends to hold a silent auction during the show, with a portion of the proceeds also going toward fighting breast cancer. A familiar voice is also helping Blacker promote the show — Candy O’Terry, a Wellesley resident and the assistant program director at radio station Magic 106.7.
“I believe she’s a young artist that our listeners should know about,” said O’Terry, whose daughter went to high school with Blacker. “And I love the fact that she’s an artist with a social conscience. And I love the fact that she’s an artist with a social conscious and her ZIP code is 02481.”

Friend Katherine Hemond has also helped spread the word about Blacker’s fundraiser. Hemond, who met Blacker at WHS as a sophomore, is putting some of her photography work into the silent auction. She has also gotten local stores to donate to the cause.

“It’s been kind of amazing over the last decade to see her progress into a full-blown musician,” Hemond said. “This is kind of my first go at being able to get people motivated to come out to this event, not only to hear great music, but to also be involved in the fundraising for breast cancer.”

O’Terry is featuring Blacker on her radio program, “Exceptional Women,” this weekend. The show highlights women who are doing inspiring things, and in October, each woman featured has a tie to fighting breast cancer. Fundraising for the disease is very important to O’Terry, whose own mother died from breast cancer when O’Terry was just a freshman in college. She is the spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, which raised $3.1 million last weekend.

The radio segment with Blacker pairs her with a 26-year-old from Brookline who helped raise almost $1 million for breast cancer research. Neither woman has had an immediate family member get the disease, but still felt strongly about fundraising. O’Terry said that for the piece, she was looking to show how young women have been greatly affected by breast cancer and are more aware of getting mammograms and taking other preventive measures.

“I think that young women are just really aware of the cause and the issue, even if hasn’t struck their immediate family,” O’Terry said. “The fact of the matter is that this year alone, 4,500 women in Massachusetts will hear the words, ‘You have breast cancer.’ ”

She added, “I think our daughters have grown up hearing these statistics, and it’s on the top of their mind for them.”

It took Blacker more than a year to finish recording her first album, “‘The Only Way Out is Through.” She describes it as a mix of jazz and folk-rock acoustic music. When she’s not performing, Blacker works as a music therapist for autistic children.

“Music is an amazingly powerful healing tool and it brings people together, and it’s also a great escape,” she said. - the Wellesley Townsman, Wellesley, MA


"Bob McKillop from Maine Folk Music"


“Sarah Blacker’s voice is sweet, clear, sharp, and precise, supple, happy, and full of mischief. She sounds like a street-savy urban vocal busker with world-class voice training.

Mainers will hear a bit of local songstress Emilia Dahlin in her phrasing and timbre. Her record, “The Only Way Out is Through,” is full of great songs, built on rhythm, beat, and groove, with stories of people who are on the cusp of change, or who are in need of it. Sarah is lyrically very direct; she tells it like it is, but the love she has for people, and for the world, come through loud and clear. She plays very nicely executed fingerstyle guitar parts on most of the tracks, and the arrangements instrumentation are unique and surprising. But the focus is on her beautiful voice, as it should be. Sarah carries the promise of a bit of trouble, or at least excitement, in her voice; there is mischief and fun to be had when listening to these songs. I loved “Smell of Caramel” for it’s reggae beat, which made me want to get up and dance, but my favorite on the record is “Bad I Been”, a confession of irresponsibility, which is really an irrepressible love of life in the moment. I totally enjoyed the album, and can strongly recommend it to anyone looking for some great music and lots of fun!” - mainefolkmusic.com


"Ron Bowen, WXRV 92.5 The River, Boston's Independent Radio"

"You sound like the perfect blend of the Beatles, Joni Mitchell and Ella Fitzgerald to me." - The River


"NORTH STAR MUSIC CAFÉ, Portland, ME"

"Sarah Blacker is a bright light. Her performance is a wonderful combination of her varied musical talents and brilliant personality. She invites the audience in and treats them to an intimate musical connection." - Anna Maria Tocci, Owner/Booking


"'The Night is Young' Portland Press Herald Feature"

You've taken the day off from work and driven for about an hour, hugging the coastline with the windows open. Then you find the sunniest spot and find you're the only person on the beach. The wind is warm, the gulls dart and dance above and beside you. You close your eyes and smile for a good long time.

Such an enchanting experience is what I liken to listening to Sarah Blacker's debut album, "The Only Way Out is Through." Blacker, from Boston, will be playing at the Dogfish Bar & Grille on Wednesday night.

She's a classically trained vocalist who learned piano by ear. She also picked up the guitar late in her teens, and after ditching lessons forged ahead and crafted her own chords and rhythms.

The opening track on her CD, "The Smell of Caramel," features mandolin and accordion. "Days like these the only things that feel right is eating dark chocolate and drinking red wine in the night," sings Blacker with her free and easy voice. "I Should Speak" tells of a person who can't find the voice to describe how she's feeling. Acoustic guitar, drums and bass carry the song along, and it's one of my favorites.

There's a tormented edge to "Countin' Pennies" in both the words and music. "Lately I feel just like dying, so empty my mind into a cup and hold it to your lips until you drink me darling down." I have inked into my day planner to make an appearance on Free Street next week because I have a pretty good idea that Sarah Blacker live will be even better than what I've been listening to for the past couple of weeks. Get clued in at www.sarahblacker.com and www.myspace.com/sarahblacker.

Sarah Blacker. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Dogfish Bar & Grille, 128 Free St., Portland. 772-5483; www.thedogfishbarandgrille.com

link:http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=259965&ac=Go - Aimsel Ponti


Discography

'Precious Little Things' - 2013
'Come What May' - 2011
'The Only Way Out is Through' - 2009

Photos

Bio

‘Female Performer of the Year’ in the New England Music Awards (2013), Boston-based 2013 Boston Music Award nominee for Singer/Songwriter of the year, Sarah Blacker, was also a nominee for Songwriter of the Year, and Song of the Year for 2013’s single, ‘Shiver,’ in the New England Music Awards, 2014. Her heart-felt version of songwriting has been coined, “Sundress rock,” and she was recently called “one of the brighter artists to grab our attention recently,” by national Roots publication, No Depression. The Boston Herald’s Jed Gottleib said of her, “Sarah Blacker makes some of the most interesting folk music in Boston — mostly by making folk the starting point and reaching out toward rock, Americana and prog.” She is a prolific singer/songwriter currently in the studio recording her 3rd full-length album, (Blacker has penned 2 full-lengths and 2 EPs in just 4 years) her previous currently receiving airtime on local NPR station, WUMB, and Emerson’s WERS as well as many other AAA and college stations worldwide. Blacker is regularly recognized throughout New England since she won the Radio 92.9 / Boch Subaru contest and became the face and voice of their New England ad campaign for “ooh ooh it’s love,” NE Subaru. Her music is currently featured in an AlignCredit TV Commercial and has been featured on the MTV shows, Jersey Shore & Friendzone. In just 3 years, she has garnered these accolades, performed at SXSW, CMJ and a sold-out tour of Germany, and has toured extensively with reggae-pop star, Mishka, and shared the stage with America, 10,000 Maniacs, Rusted Root, Paula Cole, The Wood Brothers, Sara Bareilles, Jason Isbell, Carbon Leaf, and Anais Mitchell to name just a few. She is a business savvy, hard-working musician, who also spends 8 hours a week (in the spring, fall and winter) as a Music Therapist for adults in a psych hospital and with children with Asperger’s. Her entrancing voice, poignant and emotionally charged lyrics, and mature songwriting has this artist on pace to go nowhere but up.

Band Members