Sarah Shook

Sarah Shook

BandBluesSinger/Songwriter

Intensely melodic songs. Searing, painfully honest lyrics. Soulful, even heartbreaking, voice. Sultry, lovely, fierce, mischievous, intriguing, intoxicating, brazen, godforsaken, hopeful, blatant, captivating. I can't assign my work to one genre. Sarah Shook is unclassifiable and experiential.

Biography

Sarah shook wrote her first song at age 9 on a dusty, out-of-tune piano in a small town in western New York.

From age 10 to age 14 Sarah was savagely uprooted and transplated 3 times, resulting in weakened root systems, an intense hatred for goodbyes and a plethora of pen-pals.

At age 16 Sarah discovered coffee and it's stimulating properties were instantly integrated into her rapidly evolving songwriting rituals. She has been drinking coffee in alarming quantities ever since. It was also at this age that a girl by the name of Maria gave Sarah a 1995 Oscar Schmidt acoustic guitar. Sarah soon lost interest in her 1984 CASIO mini-keyboard.

At age 17 Sarah read somewhere that humans sleep for approximately 1/3 or their lives and consequently discovered voluntary insomnia.

At age 17� she happened upon the other half of her soul in a boy called Sean. At this point in time our heroine had had absolutely zero exposure to music as we know it due to suffering a 'Christian-music-only' existence in a strict, patriarchal household. Sean introduced Sarah to the likes of Belle & Sebastian, the Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens and Elliott Smith.

One night, while Sarah was hiding under her covers with headphones pumping forbidden pleasures into her ears, someone who was very dear to her perished in an icy car accident. It was a turning point. Sarah's songs became darker. laced with melancholy and littered with madness. She felt she was getting closer to some universal truth that could only be found in the deepest depths of grief and despair. So she sank ever downward clinging to the most threadbare scrap of hope in the history of scraps of hope.

At age 18 Sarah met a boy who dabbled in digital audio recording. Between innumerable late night walks, clove-smoking on the roof, and spontaneous naps, the two managed to produce a 5-song demo, specially crafted as a gift for Sean's birthday. Sarah was quite please with the end product.

At age 19� Sarah's lips had yet to make contact with alcohol or anyone else's lips. Although she was spending her time in a more productive fashion than partying and experimenting with her sexuality, Sarah was aware of her undeniable lack of what she liked to call �life experience�. Being a logical sort of person, Sarah concluded that the more �life experience� she had, the more material she would have to work with when it came to writing songs.

Thus, at age 20, when Sarah was once again savagely uprooted and replanted in a small town in the south, she tried her damndest to make up for lost time. For the first miraculous time, bourbon spread it's velvety smoothness over the expanse of Sarah's tongue, soothing her soul and electrifying her tastebuds. It was a match made in heaven. It was as if one of a small handful of missing puzzle pieces had at last been chanced upon! That tricky little corner piece had been hiding in a bottle all along... The consumption of whiskey (as we all know) has inspired many a songwriter and Sarah Shook is no exception! The songs came a'flowin' like a river.

As it turned out, �life experience� played a minor role with regards to Sarah's songwriting skills. Any old cretin can write a song about something they did or something that happened to them. As it turned out, a certain Muse was in search of some mad, melancholy, songwriter with an affinity to pain to descend upon.

The first time the Muse descended upon Sarah it was as if she was in a trance. All concept of time was lost. Her vision blurred, her neck tingled, her heart palpitated, beads of perspiration appeared on her brow and her fingers acted without her brain... strumming chords, picking strings, writing, arranging.

When she came to, she looked down at a complete song. The top of the page said 'Marigold'. �Hm...� she thought to herself. �Did / write this?� And that is the question she has been to this day trying to solve.

Where do songs come from? This is one of the most highly debated mysteries of the universe. Some say the ether. Some say the subconcious. Some say dead people. Human beings are inspired by a myriad of concepts, facts, objects and relationships. Global warming. Garbage trucks. Green cowboys. Grandpas. Crustaceans. Crown moulding. Crow's feet. Camping gear. Cousins. Getting crunk. And that's just a taste of the g's and c's.

There is a certain Muse somewhere out there right now who has chosen Sarah Shook as a vessel. And that suits her fine. Someone else can write about the crustaceans. Although Sarah will continue to love them from a distance, it is possible she will never produce a song about a hermit crab.

Discography

Sarah Shook Demo includes following songs: Incubus, Whiskey Weather, Fierce, Catalyst, Kissing Cousins and No Bitter Ends. All above listed songs are available for your listening pleasure at www.myspace.com/sarahshookmusic .

Set List

Here is an example of a set list from a recent show at Broad Street Music in New Bern, NC:
1) Southern Sun
2) Kissing Cousins
3) Crying Shame
4) Let's Not Be Straight
5) Don't Want Anyone Else
6) Burning Tree
7) 3am Blues
8) Fierce
9) Catalyst
10) Whiskey Weather
11) Evidently
12) No Bitter Ends
13) Incubus
14) Yr Place or Mine
15) The One
16) Got My Eye on You

A typical set is 45 minutes to one hour and 15 minutes.