Sarah Pierce
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Sarah Pierce

Liberty Hill, TX, USA | Established. Jan 01, 1995 | INDIE | AFM

Liberty Hill, TX, USA | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 1995
Band Country Americana




"Barbed Wire"

Barbed Wire: A Gem of Country Songcraft
Sarah Pierce - Barbed Wire
by Terry Roland
December 1, 2015
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Barbed Wire, opens with a drumbeat like the pure sure-fired rhythm of a strong passionate heartbeat. Then, singer-songwriter, Sarah Pierce launches into a familiar tag line for the Americana musical landscape: ”I grew up living in a small town,” she sings a refrain the way John Mellencamp did a few decades back. But as ruggedly patronizing as Mellecamp’s opus , Sarah Pierce’s approach is authentic and lived-in. It’s a song which, like this entire album, is chalk full of gems of country song craft. She’s living in a small town and loving it. It’s a strong opening track for an album that, according to Pierce, was inspired by her discovery of an antique piece of barbwire found on her land north of Austin, Texas. Accordingly, her find became an epiphany for the twists, turns, aches and heartbreak life takes us through during years of living and creating music on your own terms.

“I’m weathered, I’m twisted and I’m dangerous as hell,” she snarls amusingly.

The title song connects the songwriter’s life experience to a strong spirit that survives and thrives through the hardships of life with a kind of love that has weathered the heartbreaks and stands ready to fight for love with clear-eyed ageless passion. The beauty and core insight of the song its dual nature because while, like barbed wire, she may be ‘dangerous as hell,’ she can also protect those she loves, as she says referring to the truest of country bloodlines, ‘girls like me, our mama’s raised us to be tough as barbed wire.’

Each of the remaining eleven songs play like a multi-colored prism, shedding light on a different side of the songwriter’s life experience. “Saddle Up,” sings to the virtues of true friends and includes some fine mandolin solo interludes. “I’m Sorry” is rendered in a beautiful heartbreak duet with Restless Kelly’s Willie Braun.

“See You in the Morning,” gives one of two memories of her family. This song portrays her father’s faith life where his church consisted of an open prairie in the morning where ‘he talked to God like they were old friends’ and ‘he’d end each prayer with I’ll die trying and if I make it through I’ll see you in the morning.’ As the song concludes Pierce acknowledges her own mortality and that familiar place where she knows she can once again meet her father.

By contrast, “I’m the Daughter of a Cowboy’s Wife,” tells her mother’s own story, abandoned by her husband, the fortitude and perseverance is fully portrayed in clear-eyed detail. “I’m the daughter of a cowboy’s wife, you can bet you’ll never see me cry,” she sings from the deepest felt heart-place that brings unsentimental honor to her mother’s trials. The song is a natural sequel to the Ian Tyson classic, “Someday Soon,” and perhaps another perspective on the John Prine standard, “Angel from Montgomery.”

“Light it Up,” could be a bro-country hit if it were sung by one of today’s male country superstars. But, as delivered by Pierce with a pure country band and a beautifully realized fiddle solo, it’s far more inviting for the rest of us.

The key to this collection is the straightforward and unpretentious feel found in the integrity and honesty of these solid country songs, down to earth, authentic and as American as wild horses running free on a prairie.

The production by her husband/drummer, Merel Bregante (The Dirt Band), is dynamic, upfront and clear, a match for the skilled song writing and performance of Sarah Pierce. While this is not a high profile album, Pierce & Bregante have created a recording that is soulful, insightful and worthy of any country music coming out of Nashville and Austin today.

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Artist Sarah Pierce
Album Barbed Wire
Label Little Bear
Other tags Austin
Read More About Sarah Pierce
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Sarah Pierce: Love, Light, and Music
Sarah Pierce: Love, Light, and Music
Column: 'Raise the Roots
by Terry Roland on July 25, 2015
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"Barbed Wire"

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Sarah Pierce
Barbed Wire (Little Bear)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Dec. 4, 2015
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Texas Platters

A tranquil listen comparable to early Nanci Griffith, the eighth album from Sarah Pierce strikes pay dirt. Songs about her family's heritage thread together subtlety in country trappings about a simpler life. Opener "Small Town" points the way, and she never looks back until proclaiming "I Don't Give My Heart" to just anyone. She and husband/producer/co-writer/drummer Merel Bregante are joined by Willy and Cody Braun on some tracks, but Pierce remains the sharp heart of Barbed Wire.

***.5 - The Austin Chronicle by Jim Caligiuri

"No Sugar Coating"

No Sugar-Coating: Sarah Pierce's Barbed Wire by-Nick Santovasi - Nick Santovasi

"Sarah Pierce-Barbed Wire"

Sarah Pierce
Barbed Wire – 2015 (Little Bear)
Reviewed by Jeff Lincoln
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CDs by Sarah Pierce

Barbed Wire (2015)
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If you Google "Sarah Pierce," you'll learn about an early American educator who founded a landmark school. Try "Sarah Pierce Texas," and you'll find a lot more related to the singer-songwriter who records out of Austin. There's something to that, as Lone Star sensibilities permeate the songs and values of the cattleman's daughter. This is far from her first rodeo - "Barbed Wire" is her ninth release - but to hear her tell it, this record represents some of the most personal work she's done.

Pierce didn't really come to bellyache - right from the opener "(Small Town") you learn that she loves where she lives, she's got a great man, and the neighbors always check on her. Even when life sends rough patches, Pierce stands defiant. She's honed a gunfighter's spirit. The topics are charming, but this is country/western music that's undergone a sort of twang-dectomy. Sometimes a mandolin or banjo sneaks in, but it's the persistence of the same mid-tempo that wears on the listener. Even the "party" song ("Light It Up") has a restraint, like the rhythm section's riding a brake. Things improve when they highlight Pierce's honeysweet voice - "Find My Way Back to You" is a standout, with a lot of air and sensual delivery. The speedier ode to friendship "Saddle Up" also hits its mark, via bluegrass.

Pierce's lyrics have few curveballs or slick metaphors - you're much more likely to hear plainspoken truths or recollections. There's autobiography at a level not many artists would be game to do. (Pierce practically gives her address at one point.) "I'm the Daughter of a Cowboy's Wife" even takes on a father that left; but a scar or two's fine in this part of the country. One might wonder if she's really as tough and together as she claims. But better to leave the question on the table - who wants to mess with Texas? - Jeff Lincoln

"Sarah Pierce - Los Angeles Times"

“Sarah Pierce seems a likely candidate for contemporary music fame. She has a most impressive instrument, as they say, potent of force and certainly no stranger to nuance. She is a smart and gifted musician not lacking for either ambition or a larger sense of purpose.” - Los Angeles Times

"Barbed Wire"

Sarah Pierce – Barbed Wire Little Bear Records A one-off DVD-A recorded and mastered at 24/96 – But publicly available as CD and soon vinyl record.
I’ve been following Sarah Pierce’s career ever since I was privileged enough to review her album “Birdman.” I thoroughly enjoyed that album, and every subsequent album she’s released since. It’s been a true pleasure to hear her growth both as a musician and as a singer/ songwriter. Each album she’s released has revealed a little bit more of who Sarah Pierce really is, what makes her tick, her personality and how she became who she is today. “Barbed Wire” is perhaps her most personal album to date, an introspective, almost too personal look behind the curtain at who Sarah Pierce truly is. And if it wasn’t for the beauty of the songs, the way the melodies stick in your head, it might feel like an intrusion into her life. But all it takes is a good listen to some of the songs here to find out what it is that has made Sarah Pierce the person she is today. Take for instance the song “See You In The Morning,” an ode to her relationship with her father and how it molded her (“He’s a hero in his little girls eyes”), or “I’m The Daughter Of A Cowboy’s Wife” for how her mother taught her to stand up and be strong no matter what. Then move to her view of what it takes to become counted as one of her friends in the song “Saddle Up”, finally, finish up with what makes her life special now in the song “Small Town.” Each of these personal glimpses into the lady behind the microphone serves to make her not just a voice on the stereo, but a real, honest, down to earth person, and gives us a look at what, maybe up till she wrote these songs, even she didn’t fully realize was built into her DNA. Then listen to the song that is beginning to take indie radio by storm, her duet with Willie Braun of the group Reckless Kelly called “I’m Sorry.” The blend of vocal harmonies is mesmerizing and the musicianship superb.But there is another reason to make sure you get the chance to listen to “Barbed Wire”, the sound.
Recording engineer Merel Bregante recorded this album (he also plays drums herein) at his new Cribworks Digital studio on the top floor of their new house a few miles outside of Austin, Texas. Merel has been a part of the music industry in one form or another for many years now, from musician with one of the top groups of the 1970’s to his immersion into the recording side of things. So he’s pretty much seen and done it all. Here on “Barbed Wire” he puts all that experience to good use in creating an album that doesn’t only present the songs, but does so in a way that brings them to life in your listening space. There is a sense of realness to the sound, from the fingers on the guitar or mandolin strings, to the way the bow scrapes across the fiddle strings, to the brush work Merel uses on his drum kit (it’s clear that that is what he’s using as it is a softer, gentler sound than if he had used sticks.) You hear it all rendered clearly and realistically, presented as if you were there in the studio listening. Using his newly acquired Dave Pearlman tubed microphone on the vocals, he has managed to make Sarah Pierce sound even more like a real person standing in your listening room singing just for you - and if you’ve spent much time listening to popular music, you’ll know how rare that feat truly is, to get sound this clear and real. You can hear all the nuances to her voice that makes her so unique. She sounds far more realistic here than on any of her previous recordings I’ve heard (and I’ve heard her live, so I’m familiar with what she should sound like live). On this album she does not sound at all like she is just some facsimile of a real person. About the only nit I can pick, and it is one I’ve taken up with Merel many times over the years, is how he mixes the bass. I would like to hear it made a bit more prominent in the mix, both to really set the foundation of the music and to be able to better follow what and how he’s playing. But Merel seems to prefer it as it is, and who am I, a humble scribe, to tell someone with his experience what’s right or wrong. It’s his personal choice and I can live with it – the music is that good.
In the end, all I can say is that this is absolutely the best Sarah Pierce album I’ve heard to date, both from a sonic stand point, and from the country rock, singer/songwriter point of view (though I do look forward to getting my vinyl copy – yes, it’s being pressed on vinyl as soon as they can arrange for pressing time – to see what, if anything, an analog source does to improve on the 24/96 digital mix of this DVD-A disc). The songs are all standouts, each and every one of them. The musicianship displayed herein is outstanding. The recording is the best I’ve heard come from Cribworks, getting the hell out of the way and letting Sarah’s voice and the music shine forth. Even the most diehard audiophile nazi will find little to complain about, and the music lover will just swoon. Just go ahead and buy yourself a copy and see if I’m lying. But just be aware that if you do purchase a copy of “Barbed Wire” you’ll probably be purchasing the remainder of her back catalog as well just to revel is one of this countries most talented, yet overlooked singer/songwriters. “Barbed Wire” is truly an album to treasure. Don’t miss it. - John Crossett

"Grateful Web"

Out New "Barbed Wire" CD by the Grateful Web - Grateful Web

"Wandering Educators"

Wandering Educators by Kerry Dexter, - Kerry Dexter

"Sarah Pierce"

Sarah Pierce wasn't born of the red dirt of Austin Texas, but like any convert, she was reborn in this great songwriting tradition after a visit there in the Fall of 1993. Eight albums later, Pierce is a highly respected singer/songwriter who has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles and played her music for people all over the world. But she always returns to her adopted home in Austin. While Pierce's voice may sound familiar from her singing performances as Calamity Jane on the Emmy-nominated TV mini-series The Wild West, Pierce truly comes alive when on-stage, guitar in hand, performing works written from her own heart. Pierce sets out to tell the world a story once again on her most recent album, Bring It On.

Pierce gets things started with the title track. "Bring It On" is an Americana/rock soliloquy from a strong woman who is willing to consider any man who can prove he's worth her time. It's a catchy number with a memorable chorus, with the potential to become an anthem for the single set. "Butterfly Tattoo" explores a modern day symbol of love and eternal devotion. Pierce's voice is eminently listenable, slipping over your ears like a comfortable wrap on a cold winter's day. "Cowgirls Ride" gets down to more of a traditional red dirty country sound. It's a solid album track full of songwriting fundamentals.

"It's Not Enough" is a promissory love song that aims high. The gentle country ballad is sweet and solid, with Piece practicing subtle poetry in the margins. Piece settles in for a subtle, even ride that holds forth for much of Bring It On. This could almost become monotonous if not for Piece's adeptness at stringing listeners along with a lyrical style that keeps you turning with subtle surprises. Piece does hit some high notes in the process however. "Twenty Dollar Silver Ring" is a well-written story song about love for love's sake. It's the best pure songwriting on the album, and seems like the sort of song that other artists will be likely to pick up and cover as time goes on. "You Make Me Love Being In Love" has the sort of chorus you walk away humming to yourself, and find recurring in your mind for days afterward.

"I Ride" marks the deep bond between rider and horse; a friendship that is utilitarian but grows over time into something more. "Pearl Handle .44" is a Greek Tragedy, country style. About a lawmen and his betrothed to wind up on opposite sides of the law. The message is that love can't overcome nature, and the songwriting is superb. Pierce closes with the mild "May Peace Find You Tonight", a solid goodnight.

Sarah Pierce follows the gentle rhythms of life and love throughout Bring It On, singing from a quiet repose the tales of love and darkness that intertwine the lives of people real and imagined. Musically, the album is solid, but Pierce's voice and distinctly subtle lyrical style pay rewards to those who listen closely. Bring It On will grow on you with successive listens, but is subtle enough to get by those who aren't paying attention

-- Wildy's World, September 8, 2011 - Wildy's World, September 8th, 2011

"A conversation with Sarah Pierce"

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Sarah Pierce came to Austin for the first time on a trip. While here, the sense of belonging was so strong that she decided to make the city her home. Now, Pierce is on tour for "Bring It On," her eighth record, which has cracked the top ten in charts like the Main Country, Country Indie and Roots charts. We sat down with her to learn more about how she started, what keeps her going and how she approaches music.

1. When and why did you get started in music?

Music was in my heart from the day I was born, I just did not know it until I started to sing. I tried to join the choir in elementary school but I got kicked out because the teacher said I sang like a boy (I am an alto and being a little girl, I was not supposed to have such a low voice). I went home (I grew up on cattle ranches), cried, and then got on my bay mare Gigi and rode out with the cows. They were my audience for a long time. Later, my stepfather would listen to me singing along to records in my room and when I was twelve or thirteen, he asked me to come and sing a song with his band (he was a bass player in a local country band in rural Colorado). I went, sang a Patsy Cline song, the audience went nuts, they asked me to sing more with their band, and that's what I basically did until I went off to college.

2. How would you describe your sound to those who have never heard it?

My music is country. When I was a child, in my house, if I got caught listening to anything but country music, I got in big, BIG trouble. These days I admit that it's a bit more alt country than I wish but this is what comes out of me when I write. I still think that the 'old country' is the best...when people wrote simple songs that touched your heart, when singers simply sang the song without thinking that technique was more important than soul, when acoustic instruments were the way of the day, and 'crunch chords' and setting your guitar on fire were still a thing reserved for rock and roll.

Some of the music on my last two albums does its best to honor the old ways (especially "Cowboy's Daughter"). Lots of acoustic guitar, fiddle, dobro, mandolin, etc. However, it is 2012 and so, with my current "Bring It On," along with the acoustic influences, you will also find some great electric guitar work as well as keyboards (acoustic and electric piano and B3), lap steel and steel guitar, acoustic and electric bass and drum kit. A great blessing to me is that the people that play on my records are all world class musicians -- and they understand both sides of my musical coin. Cindy Cashdollar, Riley Osbourn, Cody and Willy Braun, David Abeyta, Carl LoSchiavo, Merel Bregante, they all have grown up understanding the 'old ways' and definitely get the new. Whatever I might write, they understand where it belongs musically. They need no direction. It's like magic! I am blessed.

3. Who are your influences and why?

There are too many to list! The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Linda Ronstadt, Ray Price and all of the great old country singers. Still, James Jamison (legendary bassist for Motown) makes me want to write. His choice of notes. His groove. Simply amazing. I don't know why but I hear him play and all I want to do is grab a pencil and some paper and write. The wonderful Etta James makes me strive to sing better and better. When I got to college, though much later than my contemporaries, I got to discover the Beatles, ACDC, Aerosmith...on and on. Great bands. Great vocals. Great songs.

4. How did you approach the songwriting process for "Bring It On"?

I feel like I have paid my share of dues and at this point in time what I am is what you get. My process includes assigning a specific time to write. With my life, there is no option.

Sometimes nothing happens and sometimes songs somehow get written. It really remains, to this day, a mystery as to how/where they come from. All I can say is that I wrote and sang honestly. No more striving to be as good as someone else. No more need to compete. When I allow it to be OK to just be Sarah, I know that I have done my best. With "Bring It On," for better or worse, one thought/memory led to another until there was a song. Some came very quickly. Some, like "Twenty Dollar Silver Plated Ring", had been around for years patiently waiting to be finished. At the end of the day, who I am is what you get.

5. You're touring can only be called relentless: how has the tour been so far for the new album?

Well, touring has been a major part of what I have done for a long time. I love being on the road and getting to play both domestically and in Europe has been wonderful...hard work for sure and wonderful. Honestly, as an indie it is different because I will tour a CD for a year or two to get it out there unlike many of the major label artists. With "Bring It On," I have been truly lucky in that I have toured with an amazing band - and - my dear old friends Reckless Kelly have allowe - The Austin Post - 2012

"Sarah Pierce - Bring It On/Cowboy's Daughter"

Over the last couple of years, Austin's Sarah Pierce turned her sixth and seventh studio releases loose on the world. Individually, they are disparate and at times mesmerizing in tremendously unique fashion. Taken together, as with the repeated listens which led to this review, Cowboy's Daughter and Bring It On paint a picture of an artist possessed of a breadth of talent which bears watching and is more than worth your hard-earned dollars' listen.

With the first record Sarah mines hidden veins of gold whose presence is felt mostly in the moments of quiet elation which spring from a hardscrabble work ethic. That impact is perhaps most hauntingly felt in the record's next-to-last track, "Tumbleweed Dreams." It's a sparkling, quiet, but bubbling stream of consciousness walk through all the ways the vastness and mystic wonder of West Texas get down in the bones and pervade the life journeys of generations. Fantastic stuff, and a quality of writing Elmer Kelton would recognize and approve.

Bring It On, on the other hand, cuts loose a more uptempo and sparkling sound. The underlying salt-of-the-earth principles of Cowboy's Daughter aren't lost in the shuffle, but this record's more about the veneer than it is the wood beneath. It's often stunningly pretty, a slice of ear candy to set toes a-tappin' and hearts a-flutterin'. And at times it's beautifully genuine, even when lost in young love's idealism:

A late winter's night the sleet's coming down
Jimmy pulls the Chevy over just out of town
He said I've saved twenty dollars, next month you're eighteen
I hope you'll accept this poor boy's ring

In other spots, notably the title track, Sarah tends to prove that her considerable vocal abilities are better suited to quieter and more nuanced fair. Bombast, while she gives it one hell of a go, just ain't quite her forte. But when she does step back and let the song take over, as with the title cut from Cowboy's Daughter, Pierce is jaw-droppingly phenomenal. The vocals here simply possess the shimmering accompaniment, and the lyrics are of a sort you just don't get much from the women these days. Most of Pierce's peers seem to land somewhere between Miranda Lambert channeling Alanis Morrissette and the fluffy, overwrought and overthought "artistry" that tends to make run-of-the-mill female singers think they're singer-songwriters. But this track, well, you figure out for yourownself where it lies:

I was taught to travel light
Keep my baggage deep inside
Hold my head way up high
And never give up the fight
I'm a cowboy's daughter
A breed you won't see much longer
My daddy lived a lonely cowboy's life
He was a hero in his little girl's eyes
I'm a cowboy's daughter

The rest of the track expands on and deepens the bedrock principles those lyrics evoke, and makes it clear this isn't your average chick singer. Pierce is formidable, beginning with levels that precede her musical forays. And that substance shines through in everything she does.

It doesn't hurt a bit, on either record, that Sarah's surrounded herself with incomparable talent. Her band's resume reads like a who's who, and while many artists can say that, it's a much smaller number who have someone like Merel Bregante believing in them. His influence and experience are at times evident on both records, but to Sarah's credit, her own skills and contributions are never overshadowed. Perhaps that says more about her as a person than anything else, but it says a hell of a lot about her as an artist. And it's just one of many reasons both records here are worth your time. Apparently not every outlaw has to walk softly and carry a big fuckin' amp. And it just could be that in this current Texas pantheon of Kevin Fowler throwaways and pseudo-Red Dirt glitz, some substance remains. Pierce deserves kudos for her earthy reality, her heartfelt lyrics, and her commitment to delivering both through vocals which are capable of a mesmerizing authority.

-- Dave Pilot, Spirit of the Outlaws - - Spirit of the Outlaws/Outlaw magazine

"Sarah Pierce - Love's The Only Way"

“SARAH PIERCE/Love's the Only Way: One of the queens of the back 40, part singer/songwriter, part folk-rocker and part Austin good old girl, Pierce continues to solidify her skills. With a ton of roadwork between releases, you can feel what Pierce has absorbed along the way making each new outing a real new outing. Fueled by sharp writing and keen observation, this set is going to grab ears of singer/songwriter fans with both hands. Solid work from an artist with a lot on the ball and a lot to show for her effort."

- Midwest Record Recap

"Sarah Pierce - Birdman"
May 2001's Best New CDs
Author: Chad Bowar
Published on: May 31, 2001

Sarah Pierce - Birdman

The first thing that jumps out at you when listening to Birdman is that voice. It’s powerful and emotional, a little bit country, and a little bit rock and roll. Pierce’s voice has been compared to Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith, Joni Mitchell and Shawn Colvin. That’s pretty impressive company. Birdman is an eclectic mix of pop, country, folk and rock. From the opening notes of “My Street” all the way to an amazing cover version of “What A Wonderful World”, Birdman is a delight from start to finish.


"Sarah Pierce - Love's the Only Way"

I'm quite taken with Austin, Texas' songbird Sarah Pierce. She's got a crystal clear voice, and Sarah reminds me of Karla Bonoff, Emmylou Harris or Eliza Gilkyson. Sarah's CD, produced by Merel Brigante (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Loggins and Messina), is a baker's dozen of competent songs that range from the folk rock of "Calliope," the upbeat title tune, the softly introspective "I'm Not An Angel," or the harder-edged "Hard Road." This month, Sarah's touring schedule includes New Orleans, Louisiana (Virgin Megastore), to New York (The Bitter End), and Chicago (Uncommon Grounds), and if she's appearing near you, check her out, ‘cause Love's The Only Way has a nice mix of country, folk and rock. - Cosmik Debris

"Sarah Pierce - WUMB - Women In Music"

"I love Sarah's music...she touches the heart and soul of every listener and she is a great addition to my national radio show anytime I get her into the mix ;-) " —Laney Goodman, host of nationally syndicated radio show Women in Music - Women In Music-WUMB Boston, MA

"Cowboy's Daughter - August 2008"

SARAH PIERCE/Cowboy’s Daughter: It might seem like she’s an under the radar princess that only recently got her eye on taking the crown away from Nanci Griffith as the Lone Star songbird, but this Illinois transplant has been at it a while, learning lessons, making contacts and getting it down right. Like a novelist that has blossomed in obscurity while waiting for lightening to strike, this set will seem like it came out of nowhere to the uninitiated. While it leaves them thunderstruck, long time fans will be able to grin the knowing, smug grin that comes when their darlings finally hit it. A delightfully stellar folk/country flavored set that doesn’t have a wasted track or moment and certainly delivers the goods. The kind of set that too many of the old reliables haven’t been delivering lately, fans of solid songwriting and performances that really connect will be glad to have this come their way. A winner throughout.
14282 - Midwest Records Recap

"Sarah Pierce- Music, Medicine and more..."

Sarah Pierce on music, medicine and more »

Sarah Pierce, a singer/songwriter from Texas, has a gift for telling a story through her lyrics and music. Pierce recently released her latest album Barbed Wire on Little Bear Records. It was recorded at the Cribworks Ditigal Audio studio in Liberty Hill, Texas, and produced by her husband/drummer/singer/engineer, Merel Bregante. Barbed Wire is a great mix of thirteen songs that Pierce says was “musically influenced by her family’s heritage in the cattle business” and can be seen as a “follow-up to my autobiographical Cowboy’s Daughter CD.”

Pierce and her husband pulled together a great team of musicians for this project which resulted in a mix of raw, emotional folk songs and soulful ballads.

When Pierce isn’t filling her days with working on the farm, writing music, and strumming her guitar, as a graduate of the Emory School of Medicine, she spends her time devoted to her other passion – medicine.

Learn more about this fascinating musician, her music, band, gear, and what inspires her in our in-depth Q&A.

So nice of you to take the time to fill us in on your latest music.

I am honored that you asked me!

Tell us about your newest album Barbed Wire. It was heavily influenced by your upbringing on a cattle farm and the name came to you when you found a piece of rusted barbed wire on the farm. Can you elaborate on the meaning behind the name?

Actually, I was clearing land on the ranch my husband and I own, outside of Liberty Hill, Texas, and came across some old barbed wire. I had been in a song writing slump for two years...could not finish a thing. When I held this old, rusted, hand pounded, barbed wire that had obviously weathered a great deal...and was still doing its job...I thought "this is me"! All of the sudden 16 songs came out of me in about 3 weeks. The barbed wire and the land brought me to a place I was looking for, I just did not know it!

“The beauty of my band and guests...we are family. Extended ~ AND ~ family.”

Tell us about your band and the special guests that contributed to this project and the collaboration for the music and songwriting?

My band is great!

Merel Bregante, my drummer, singer, engineer, and producer...well...Merel is amazing. There is nothing else to say! We just try and keep up with him. He came out of retirement to play with me. He played with Loggins & Messina, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Chris Hillman, Gary Morris, on and on and on. From a Lear jet to a Ford van and a trailer...that is commitment!

Mike Dorrien, my guitar player, is simply great! Mike took the lyrics, chord structure and melody and created the musical hooks along with creating the overall flavor of the CD...surely that which I had heard in my head. I have never had any musician do that on a CD...another amazing player and singer.

Carl Loschiavo played electric and acoustic bass.

Doug Hudson played acoustic guitar and Mandolin, and banjo. Doug has played with me off and on for over ten years. He is a great player and wonderful singer.

John McEuen, founding member of the iconic Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, popped in and played some of his typical world class only John does.

Cody Braun, multi-instrumentalist of Reckless Kelly, played all the fiddle and most of the mandolin.

Wiily Braun, writer, lead singer, Reckless Kelly, wrote "I'm Sorry" with me and we sang it as a duet. He is just a GREAT songwriter and singer. Anytime we get the opportunity to tour with Reckless Kelly it is great fun!

David Pearlman took a break from making those amazing Pearlman microphones, which I used for this CD, and played some kick butt lap steel.

Robert Anderson played mandolin on "Daughter of A Cowboy’s Wife."

Brian Kalenick played co-wrote and played acoustic guitar on “Mackeral Sky.”

I played acoustic guitar, mandolin, and a little Gretsch guitar, too.

The beauty of my band and guests...we are family. Extended ~ AND ~ family.

You really have a knack for telling a story through your songwriting. I was really drawn in to the first single on the album “Small Town.” Where do find your inspiration for songwriting?

Life. As I said earlier, I have to feel it, I am very visceral. I just write about what happens in the day to day and hope to find a little magic in it all. I believe that we are all innately good and when we come together we can do anything. I love the common man/woman. As I have seen it, no matter what country I am in, we all want the same thing...peace, our children to be safe, educated, to have a dream...hope. I think that each of us are working on this in our own way.

Barbed Wire is said to be a follow-up to your autobiographical CD Cowboy’s Daughter. How do you feel your music has progressed over the years?

My guitar playing has grown, though slowly. My writing has improved. Honestly, co-writing in Nashville has made a big difference. I cannot follow the format, but, the re-writing aspect for me has become a bit of a machine and I think that this has yielded better songs.

Cute story I read in your bio about singing to the cattle in the fields after getting kicked out of choir in elementary school. What is your musical background, when did you first learn to play guitar, and how did your family help inspire you?

My family was not musical. I learned to play piano as a kid and did not really play guitar until I was in my early 20s. Then I fell on love with my guitars and am so grateful for the songs they bring me. I loved to sing; I did sing to the cattle. I was kicked out of the 5th grade choir for singing too low. I hid from that point on, never letting anyone hear me. Unbeknown to me, my step father was listening through my bedroom door. He was a bass player in a country band. One night he asked me to sing. I thought he was crazy! I went to the gig. Sang "Help Me Make It Through The Night." When I started to sing the room stopped, everyone starred at me, all I could think was "Oh my God I am so bad that they are scared to death!" After the song they all clapped and yelled. I did not believe it...and...I kept going from there...I had no choice.

“What makes me a good musician...I work hard and I do my job.”

Who were your early musical inspirations that helped mold you into the musician you are today?

The people who made me want to sing....Karen Carpenter, Patsy Cline, Emmy Lou. It is funny when you say "the musician you are today" I think of depth of heart...Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline. When I think it is hard...can you imagine those women and how big those hurdles were? What makes me a good musician...I work hard and I do my job.

“I do not like to pull the 'girl card' so I don't.”

I actually saw you perform at MEOWCon several years ago. It was a great conference for women in music and I find it promising to see so many organizations available today that inspire and motivate women interested in the music industry. Have you faced in challenges in pursuing your career, and if so, how did you overcome them?

I do not like to pull the 'girl card' so I don't. Having said that, it seems that in many…maybe we have to work so much harder than the guys to get our feet in the door. Texas has been tough. More so than L.A. or Nashville for me. Competing with the Red Dirt guys is never ending, climbing with bloody fingernails is what I always say...I guess that's gross and, for me, it's pretty accurate. Please note, I am not complaining as to women being in this predicament, I believe that we simply have to work harder and be OK with it! Also please note...I am not a male hater. I love some of the Red Dirt guys. Reckless Kelly is my favorite. They are amazingly talented and good people. They work hard and deserve everything they get.

From your experience, what’s the best piece of advice you would offer to an aspiring artist?

As a female be sure you can hold your own, practice, practice, practice. As soon as you can, stop chasing the dream, and live it. Be OK with what you are and love it! That is when your fans start to really identify with you and become those beautiful 'die-hards' that you are so honored to have.

Not only a musician, you also attended Emory School of Medicine. Do you still find time for work in the medical field and how do you balance your time between music, medicine and family?

When I am not on the road I do practice family medicine. I love my patients and I am blessed to have the opportunity to be part of their lives. They are also some of my most devoted fans. Luckily for me the doctors I work with...Paul Keinarth, MD and Steve Margolin, MD, have believed in my music since we first met. They have never held me back and are great fans. My family, well, I am the luckiest girl in the world. My husband is my drummer, Merel. My kids are all fuzzy...2 horses, three dogs and a cat, and, I have a great babysitter which allows us to tour.

Fun Questions:

Top 3 songs on my playlist are:

Etta James, At Last.
Phoebe Snow, New York Rock and Soul Review...all of it!
Emmylou Harris, Ballad of a Runaway Horse

One album I cannot live without is:

Patsy Cline, The Collection

I would love to collaborate with:

I wish I could sit down with Maybelle Carter. Hear her stories and write a song.

One thing people don’t know about me is:

I am a fly fisherman, catch and release of course. My 'meditation guide' is a trout in the Colorado River at Lees Ferry, AZ.

In one word, music to me is:


Sarah Pierce’s Gear:

Alvarez Yairi. Signed and numbered by master luthier Kazuo Yairi...all the songs on Barbed Wire came from my Yairi A Collings D1 acoustic guitar, a Gretsch Nashville, Tonebone acoustic guitar/mandolin preamp, Michael Kelley mandolin, Fender Deluxe Reverb, Vox AC4, handmade Mogame Platinum cables with Neutrix jacks, Fishman Spectrum, saltine crackers, and a song list with a cheat sheet so I am sure of all the lyrics and I know where I am on any given night in the road. - Guitar Girl Magazine- Tara Low


-West Texas Wind-1995 (digital remaster 2004)

-The Wild West-Emmy nominated mini series.
-Sarah was the voice of Calamity Jane - 1996

-No Place Like Home-1999 (digital remaster 2004)


-The Buttercup Princess-2003 (for children of all ages)

-Love's the Only Way-2004
-Love's The Only Way (national top 20 single - AC)
-Get Together (national top 15 single - AC)

-It Must be Christmas Time-2005

-Featured vocalist Sacher Quartet (Italy)-2006

-Featured artist Crescent Music and Media Christmas compilation-2007

-Cowboy's Daughter-spring-2008

-Bring It On-fall-2011

-Ken Kessler's Sounds of Christmas 2011 compilation.

-Butterfly Tattoo-first single released off her most current album - Bring It On - summer/fall-2012-went to #6 Major country charts nationally-(New Music Weekly) and #4 Independent Country Charts.



Sarah Pierce

Sarah Pierce, the daughter of a cowboy, raised in a family of cattlemen, was born in Rockford, Illinois and raised in rural West Texas. In the 6th grade she was kicked out of the children’s choir because she sang too low...her incredible alto voice already making itself be known. She would later get on her mare and sing to the cattle in the fields, as Pierce says “They didn’t seem to mind”.

Sarah's dream of becoming a legitimate singer began to take shape at age 12, singing in her stepfathers band. 

Always studying voice, after receiving her degree in medical science she began her musical journey. One that she is still traveling today. 

Sarah has toured hundreds of thousands of miles - both domestic and foreign - receiving rave reviews at fairs, festivals, conventions, and concert dates from New York City to Los Angeles and Northern British Columbia to San Antonio, France, Italy, Germany, and Scandinavia. Her willingness to self-promote her music has included a driving tour of 250 NPR/AC/Country radio stations across the country, doing interviews and live on-air performances. In addition, she has been seen in performance on MTV and was heard as the singing voice of Calamity Jane on the Emmy-nominated Time-Life television mini-series, The Wild West. 

With the release of her eighth album, Bring It On, and the first single, Butterfly Tattoo, going to #5 in the nation on Independent Country Charts, Sarah once again was able to show that she is an absolutely viable artist both commercially and more importantly creatively. Sarah is now releasing her 9th CD, Barbed Wire.

“Barbed Wire has been a long time coming. It definitely could be seen as a follow up to my autobiographical Cowboy’s Daughter CD. This one is absolutely ‘all cards on the table.’ That is what I love most about it...having the courage to not chase anything just write my songs. Tell the truth, and let the chips fall as they may!” 

“Barbed Wire came to life after my husband, Merel Bregante, and I moved to the country. One day, while clearing pasture, I came across an old rusted barbed wire fence. I did some research and found that it was manufactured by hand in 1876. I held it in my hand and thought...this looks like me.”

‘Pounded metal in the shape of a shooting star. Trapped by three rusted wires...kind of like my heart.’ Barbed Wire, ©2014, Lucylite Music - BMI

Her lyrics daze with elegant poetry that carries the listener over wide musical vistas on each soul-bearing turn of her incomparable voice." - Los Angeles Times 

"I love Sarah's music...she touches the heart and soul of every listener and she is a great addition to my national radio show anytime I get her into the mix" -Laney Goodman, Women In Music -WUMB Boston, MA

Band Members