Sarah Swanson
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Sarah Swanson

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States | SELF

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Rock Americana

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
08
Sarah Swanson @ Sounds and Sights of Thursday Nights

Chelsea, Michigan, USA

Chelsea, Michigan, USA

Jul
11
Sarah Swanson @ Sounds and Sights of Thursday Nights in Chelsea

Chelsea, Michigan, USA

Chelsea, Michigan, USA

Jun
09
Sarah Swanson @ FreeMusic Fest

Freeland, Michigan, USA

Freeland, Michigan, USA

Music

Press


"The new CD (Sarah Swanson's This Side of Madness) is really captivating, and (has) redefined the message of the tormented ballad. Excellent lyrics...that put a new twist on melancholy and lament. They make you think instead of being upfront obvious messages. Patrick (Thomas) plays stellar guitar...convincing chord changes lend to mystique and interest making you want to hear more..."
~ CHARLIE HUHN~ FOGHAT LEAD SINGER/GUITARIST
- CHARLIE HUHN-FOGHAT LEAD SINGER/GUITARIST


5 STARS: When I think about the CD’s that take a ride from their cases to my player most often, they are by artists who reveal the most about themselves, and the world around them. Artists like Sarah Swanson, who is not afraid to let us into her world, both during the best of times and the worst. Sarah Swanson writes and sings with true passion, which can be heard in every song on This Side of Madness. I come away with a new favorite song after each listen. This disk has a lot to give. Savor. Enjoy.

5 STARS: The Best CD I've Heard All Year!
From front to back, Sarah Swanson's "This Side of Madness" captures innate feelings in us all. The arrangements are immaculate; The lyrics are powerful and poignant; Sarah's vocals are beautiful and touched a part of me I'd not felt in a while. If you buy any CDs this year, invest in "This Side of Madness", you will NOT be disappointed! Amazing! Thank you for sharing your talents with the world!

5 STARS: Great Guitar Driven Rock and Roll
Sarah and her band deliver on this guitar driven CD. Powerful songs delivered with authority and power. Mixing influences of rock, folk and country brought together with Sarah's edgy and gritty vocals, then polished with Patrick Thomas' tasty guitar work.

5 STARS: Sarah Swanson's Album This Side of Madness:
This is the 2nd CD that I have purchased that Sarah Swanson and her band has put out. I really enjoy her style of music and the music that band members put out. To me her music tells a great story with each song. Bluesie kind of sound and it rocks. In each of her songs I think we all have a story that relates. This Side Of Madness is a great Cd..Keep up the great work.




- CD Baby


Indie rock artist Sarah Swanson returns to her hometown of Midland on Saturday, February 26 to perform in concert at Creative 360 presented by Phoenix Productions. Swanson, who is promoting her latest release Dark Sunshine, is ecstatic about playing in front of long time friends and new fans.

“This upcoming show means the world to me. I started writing songs when I was a kid back at Sugnet School. I followed the teen musicians from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship which I attended all through school, and I joined my first band in Midland,” recalls Swanson. “Even though I've lived in Ann Arbor for years, I still feel nostalgic toward Midland when I visit. It is a long time dream of mine to sing these songs here where I grew up.”

Swanson's music ranges from intense, moody confessionals to rock-based edgier songs, each punctuated by personal and introspective lyrics. While Swanson is the primary songwriter, guitarist Patrick Thomas co-wrote some of the songs on the newest CD, including the eclectic fan-favorite “Blue” and “Free”, which found airplay on dozens of radio stations across the country.

Nine of the 10 songs from the CD hit the airwaves, but the uptempo “Free” was the breakout song in radio rotation from Hawaii to Maine and from Texas to Minnesota.

“We were astounded when the songs especially 'Free' started showing up on stations all over the country,” Swanson says. This led to in-studio performances and interviews. “It is an amazing feeling to hear your song on the radio!”

Dark Sunshine charted with the national Americana Music Association for weeks as well as charting on the Roots Music Report. The CD was recently nominated for the West Michigan Jammie Awards in the categories of Best Female Solo and Best Rock/Pop CD.

Although Swanson's music leans toward a laid back sound, she assures concertgoers that the shows are energetic, engaging, and well-executed thanks to her phenomenally talented band.

“We'll be performing a number of selections off of Dark Sunshine as well as introducing a few new songs from our upcoming CD which we start recording in March,” Swanson says. “This band does like to rock so we also play a few of our favorite cover songs which wraps nicely into our love for 70s rock.”

Swanson will be joined on stage by musicians from Southeast Michigan and Ohio including guitarist Thomas, guitarist Rod Capps, drummer Chuck Mauk, bassist Don Beyer, and back-up vocalist and percussionist Jennifer Buehrer.

Acoustic performers Paledave and Jenny Fair will open the show on February 26 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Creative 360 is located at 1517 Bayliss St. in Midland. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids, and can be purchased the night of the show. For more information or to hear Swanson's music visit: www.SarahSwansonMusic.com or www.thosephoenixproductions.com.
- Midland Daily News


Indie rock artist Sarah Swanson returns to her hometown of Midland on Saturday, February 26 to perform in concert at Creative 360 presented by Phoenix Productions. Swanson, who is promoting her latest release Dark Sunshine, is ecstatic about playing in front of long time friends and new fans.

“This upcoming show means the world to me. I started writing songs when I was a kid back at Sugnet School. I followed the teen musicians from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship which I attended all through school, and I joined my first band in Midland,” recalls Swanson. “Even though I've lived in Ann Arbor for years, I still feel nostalgic toward Midland when I visit. It is a long time dream of mine to sing these songs here where I grew up.”

Swanson's music ranges from intense, moody confessionals to rock-based edgier songs, each punctuated by personal and introspective lyrics. While Swanson is the primary songwriter, guitarist Patrick Thomas co-wrote some of the songs on the newest CD, including the eclectic fan-favorite “Blue” and “Free”, which found airplay on dozens of radio stations across the country.

Nine of the 10 songs from the CD hit the airwaves, but the uptempo “Free” was the breakout song in radio rotation from Hawaii to Maine and from Texas to Minnesota.

“We were astounded when the songs especially 'Free' started showing up on stations all over the country,” Swanson says. This led to in-studio performances and interviews. “It is an amazing feeling to hear your song on the radio!”

Dark Sunshine charted with the national Americana Music Association for weeks as well as charting on the Roots Music Report. The CD was recently nominated for the West Michigan Jammie Awards in the categories of Best Female Solo and Best Rock/Pop CD.

Although Swanson's music leans toward a laid back sound, she assures concertgoers that the shows are energetic, engaging, and well-executed thanks to her phenomenally talented band.

“We'll be performing a number of selections off of Dark Sunshine as well as introducing a few new songs from our upcoming CD which we start recording in March,” Swanson says. “This band does like to rock so we also play a few of our favorite cover songs which wraps nicely into our love for 70s rock.”

Swanson will be joined on stage by musicians from Southeast Michigan and Ohio including guitarist Thomas, guitarist Rod Capps, drummer Chuck Mauk, bassist Don Beyer, and back-up vocalist and percussionist Jennifer Buehrer.

Acoustic performers Paledave and Jenny Fair will open the show on February 26 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Creative 360 is located at 1517 Bayliss St. in Midland. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids, and can be purchased the night of the show. For more information or to hear Swanson's music visit: www.SarahSwansonMusic.com or www.thosephoenixproductions.com.
- Midland Daily News


by pearbutt
Beautiful and mesmerizing...Sarah's rich lyrical ability and lush voice are a powerful combination. She writes like a poet and sings like a dream- treat yourself to this gorgeous music.
- iTunes


Sarah Swanson's album Dark Sunshine is both dark at times, light at others, but always rich with insight and emotion. From the opening track of "After You Move On," which features a warm, yet sweet guitar played by Patrick Thomas to Sarah's amazing voice and meaningful lyrics, Dark Sunshine offers much for listeners of Americana and AAA. Dark Sunshine answers the question (or maybe doesn't) of if, or when, you "can trust a girl with a broken heart."

Sarah's songwriting is both personal and universal and on songs such as "Free", "Not What You Wanted", and "Everything Changed", Sarah lays out her heart, soul, but mostly her mind, into her lyrics. In today's era we don't usually take the time to curl up in "the big chair" with headsets on and listen to an entire album, but Sarah Swanson's album Dark Sunshine just might inspire the listener in this day and age, from time to time, that is exactly what we need to do.

Sarah Swanson's album Dark Sunshine is excellently produced, solid instrumentally, and a bittersweet joy to listen to. Because as Sarah writes in "After You Move On", you "can't wait forever on a dream." You also can't go wrong in listening to the songs of Sarah Swanson on her newest album Dark Sunshine.

Tom Gilding General Manager WBSD FM Burlington WI - WBSD FM (Oct 4, 2010) - Unknown


The patio of AnnArbor.com will continue to host its free noon concert series this week as the summer winds down. The August 13 event features indie singer-songwriter Sarah Swanson, whose “Dark Sunshine” has been described in promotional materials as “a blend of '70s West Coast rock and dark, soulful tunes.”

Listeners have described Swanson’s voice as a “haunting, strong presence.” All songs on “Dark Sunshine” are, she has said, “intensely personal, yet universal.”

Swanson’s musical experience began in her childhood, where she spent time writing, singing and playing music influenced by the 70s music collection of her parents, which was, she relates on her website, “laced with an edgy and often haunting alternative songwriter rock sound of today.”

In both high school and college, Swanson played in cover bands and continued to write songs. Although Swanson eventually switched directions and focused on other interests for a few years, she never stopped writing songs in her spare time.

According to her website, Swanson met local guitarist Patrick Thomas at the Blind Pig, and the two married in 2002.

PREVIEW
Sarah Swanson

Who: Local singer-songwriter.
What: Indie folk/pop.
Where: The patio at AnnArbor.com, 301 East Liberty Street.
When: Friday at noon.
How much: Free.
Thomas encouraged her to return to the studio, and they worked together on Swanson's album, "Dark Sunshine," produced at Big Sky in Ann Arbor.

This week, Swanson and her band will take the stage at our very own 301 East Liberty location, sharing the raw, emotional sound that has come to characterize her music with concert-goers who join in.

Courtney Rabideau - AnnArbor.Com (Aug 11, 2010) - AnnArbor.com


The patio of AnnArbor.com will continue to host its free noon concert series this week as the summer winds down. The August 13 event features indie singer-songwriter Sarah Swanson, whose “Dark Sunshine” has been described in promotional materials as “a blend of '70s West Coast rock and dark, soulful tunes.”

Listeners have described Swanson’s voice as a “haunting, strong presence.” All songs on “Dark Sunshine” are, she has said, “intensely personal, yet universal.”

Swanson’s musical experience began in her childhood, where she spent time writing, singing and playing music influenced by the 70s music collection of her parents, which was, she relates on her website, “laced with an edgy and often haunting alternative songwriter rock sound of today.”

In both high school and college, Swanson played in cover bands and continued to write songs. Although Swanson eventually switched directions and focused on other interests for a few years, she never stopped writing songs in her spare time.

According to her website, Swanson met local guitarist Patrick Thomas at the Blind Pig, and the two married in 2002.

PREVIEW
Sarah Swanson

Who: Local singer-songwriter.
What: Indie folk/pop.
Where: The patio at AnnArbor.com, 301 East Liberty Street.
When: Friday at noon.
How much: Free.
Thomas encouraged her to return to the studio, and they worked together on Swanson's album, "Dark Sunshine," produced at Big Sky in Ann Arbor.

This week, Swanson and her band will take the stage at our very own 301 East Liberty location, sharing the raw, emotional sound that has come to characterize her music with concert-goers who join in.

Courtney Rabideau - AnnArbor.Com (Aug 11, 2010) - AnnArbor.com


Subtle and musically tasteful, Sarah Swanson's CD, "Dark Sunshine", begins with a reflection on freedom and cautionary intimacy in the first track, "After You Move On". Swanson writes, 'i knew you when i thought i was free, i must have been crazy. . .you say have an understanding, i say i have one too, i'm deceiving you right from the start, did you trust the girl with the broken heart.. .she'll only bring you down'. Swanson at once sings of herself in first and second person, taking that emotional cue to distance oneself from profoundly honest personal reflection. Swanson doesn't want to be the deceiver, yet may be, and in the way Cash's "Hurt" sweetly describes a personal pain, so does a pain get communicated here. Supporting the tune is world-class guitarist and producer, Patrick Thomas. His lyrical and textured guitar work is a backdrop and first-rate canvas to Swanson's colors.

The guitar playing has an airy-voiced Travis lean in cuts like "Blue". We hear influences from Winwood, Zep, to Nicks - 70's substantial style with contemporary rhythmic choices in the (drumming). When the rock kicks in, the drums from Chuck Mauk are a page out of Bonham-land. Swanson's voice soars above with conviction in the varied dynamic tune that turns into a modern throw-back trip to when a music piece could move from heaven to hell and back again. Track 5, "Dance with Me", is a textural masterpiece. Swanson's voice invites with a somber love as she sings 'dance with me...one more time'. Thomas' guitar work which consists of at least six layers of beauty, is a lesson in subtlety and restraint as the supportive music structure caresses the vocals like a parent. We are reminded of the production nuances of Natalie Merchant's first solo records. Swanson's voice, though, is more accessible. The timbre of her voice is up-front and without a noticeable wash of effects. The result is a listening experience that is pure and substantially personal. In track 6, "Afraid of Everything", piano and guitar exchange phrases as Swanson continues with the reflective pace, 'in this small town, your face is everywhere, a sign of complete disaster, when you're afraid of everything, it's not the easiest way to live'.

Track 7, "You're My Man", is the one upbeat tune in the collection - a shock of countrified proportions. The tune, dedicated to a very lucky guy, is from a yee-haw lucky gal, and one of the most commercial ditties we've heard in a long time. The personal lyrics are country-perfect with a grin at life and a mountain-top shout, "You're My Man". Lyrics are light and revealing, 'sometimes things get crazy and i say i'm runnin away, you don't need to worry baby, you know i'll always stay, all i know is you're my man'. The tune chronicles her admiration of this guy as he plays and performs guitar, safely guides her through wildlife, and loves the domestic role of step-Mom for his son.

Track 8, "No Goodbyes", is the epic band tune on the record. Swanson sings, 'it's impossible to say you don't have to stay, i'm going back to that place to see you smile, no goodbyes'. Piano lays down the perpetual chord changes, snare hits the four, and, again, the guitar work is perfect. There's something here that's tangible but hard to achieve. Clearly, Swanson and guitarist, Thomas, are incredible musicians in their own right, as are all the musicians in tow, yet the songs, sacred in approach from a production standpoint, are respected around the message and composition. And in that, Swanson's vocal delivery bleeds honesty in communication while the guitar work is there to agree and nurture the song - as does the rest of the instrumentation - without the kind of acrobatics that take away from song yet is so prevalent in much of contemporary popular music. The final song is Swanson solo - piano and vocal - in "I Know You". She sings, 'time has a way of playing her games, i have played some games of my own, i did not know that you were not playing, looking back, i should have known. . .you can run, but the past is right behind you, and I will always know you'. The paradox of this substantial quality album is clear and reflected in the album title. Swanson writes of struggle, pain, self-pity and condemnation, while maintaining a pragmatic love and acceptance in life - the balance, if you will, between black and white, good and evil, and "Dark Sunshine". - d.k.



- earBuzz.com


An inspiring work by strong and tempered vocalist Sarah Swanson sets the mood for this initial effort. Her excellent songwriting and high quality production reveals superb and memorable performances by supporting musicians helping to create overall strength of this classic yet contemporary visit into her inner feelings. A must listen to. Go Sarah and Patrick! Charlie Huhn of Foghat - Unknown


Sarah Swanson recently returned to her true love of making music and is currently promoting her new CD "Dark Sunshine" with a gig at the Arbor Brewing Co. on June 18. She sang "Free" and "Dance With Me" from the album. Both sounded great.

- Ann Delisi's Essential Music Past Highlights


Discography

"This Side of Madness CD 2012

1 This Side of Madness*
2 Tell Me You Love Me* (Radio Single)
3 Silver Thread*
4 Change Comes Around*
5 Sun & Rain*
6 Forevermore*
7 Bittersweet*
8 Time to Begin
9 Peace of Mind
10 You Should Have Told Me* (Radio Single)
11 Forevermore (demo)

"Dark Sunshine" CD 2009

1 After You Move On*
2 Blue*
3 Not What You Wanted*
4 Free* (Radio Single)
5 Dance With Me*
6 Afraid of Everything
7 You're My Man*
8 No Goodbyes*
9 Everything Changed
10 I Know You*

* Tracks indicate National Radio Airplay

Photos

Bio

Sarah Swanson's current CD THIS SIDE OF MADNESS (Feline Zoo Music) quickly gained national radio play with the first single "Tell Me You Love Me" and the follow-up single "This Side of Madness." The CD made climbed into the Americana Music Association charts, Top Selling CD charts, and the Roots Music Report for Americana and Michigan. The 7 minute blues song "You Should Have Told Me" charted at #37 for the 2012 Countdown on Women of Substance Radio and made the Top 10 Songs twice in a row.

Sarah began writing songs as a child and embarked on her lifelong journey, often influenced by her parents’ 70's music collection laced with an edgy and often haunting alternative rock sound of today. In high school and college, Sarah played in cover bands to make a living and gain stage experience. Her true love, however, was being a songwriter.

She released a self-penned 10 song collection entitled STORIES with topnotch West Michigan players. Gaining moderate local attention, Sarah began working on her second release ONE MORE GIFT FROM THE CAT GODS, a CD that never materialized. Eventually disenchanted with the music business, Sarah turned her attention to other interests for a number of years all the while quietly writing new songs on the side.

After a chance meeting in Ann Arbor connected Sarah with rock guitarist Patrick Thomas, the two started collaborating. Patrick's rich background in music started at 16 when he played late night gigs around his hometown. Patrick recorded with producer Jack Douglas of Aerosmith and John Lennon fame where he also worked with Geoff Michael, the engineer and co-producer of DARK SUNSHINE and THIS SIDE OF MADESS. Patrick also played with the band Black and White signed to Atlantic Records and toured with a renewed version of Humble Pie fronted by well-known vocalist/guitarist Charlie Huhn.

Sarah and Patrick eventually decided to record Sarah's songs for DARK SUNSHINE at Big Sky Recording in Ann Arbor owned by Geoff Michael. Their intent was to record simple guitar and vocal tracks. However, Sarah and Patrick quickly realized their songs were coming together in ways they never dreamed~ dark, personal pieces that inspired them to work even harder to get the sound they wanted. Patrick, Sarah, the musicians, and Geoff found the exact sound they wanted by striving for raw, emotional intensity without turning DARK SUNSHINE into an overpolished gem.

With contributions from skilled drummer Chuck Mauk who has played with bands including the notable All Hail Me; bassist Rod Capps of the successful Annie and Rod Capps group; and drummer Billy Adams of Sponge, Sarah and Patrick completed the story of DARK SUNSHINE which quickly hit airwaves across the country. Radio stations nationally picked up the first single "Free" with other songs from the CD also gaining airplay.

Back in the studio from 2011 to 2012 with drummer Chuck Mauk and bassist Rod Capps, Sarah and Patrick recorded 10 new songs for their latest release THIS SIDE OF MADNESS. Released in late 2012, this CD gained the attention of radio stations across the country with standout songs like the Tell Me You Love Me, This Side of Madness, and the bluesy nod to Zeppelin You Should Have Told Me, which made Women of Substance Radio's TOP 10 LIST immediately despite clocking in over 7 minutes long. THIS SIDE OF MADNESS was nominated for 3 Jammie awards including Best Americana Album, Best Song (Tell Me You Love Me), and Best Album of the Year.

Sarah Swanson's THIS SIDE OF MADNESS infuses rock, blues, and edgy ballads for a slightly heavier sound than DARK SUNSHINE. The Sarah Swanson Band is currently rocking out these songs through their known energetic live shows with plans for more dates in 2012-2013.