Sara Petite
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Sara Petite

San Diego, California, United States | SELF

San Diego, California, United States | SELF
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Sara Petite: Doghouse Rose"

It has been so long since I have had to dissect the whys and wherefores of relationships; as I live in the land of no apologies necessary, no behavior meltdowns, and no gifts to make up for thoughtless acts. I don’t miss any of that. I admit it is pretty funny, as I did the research on the title “Doghouse Rose,” it turns out that this is a term I had never heard before. Initially, the picture that came to my mind upon hearing the words was that the stores were closed, a gift was needed and so flowers were picked. No, that ain’t it, it is the present you give when you are in the doghouse. Who knew?

Sara Petite named her most recent album Doghouse Rose, loosely after the Steve Earle book of a similar name. We bring you the title song today from our session last September at the Americana Music Festival. Sara has this gender bending thing going on, that is, songs you expect to be told from the male point of view are first person for her. By the way, she is working on new music, and an acoustic tour is underway.

Here is Sara with Steve Peavey on mandolin, filmed at the Music Fog studio during the 2010 Americana Music Festival in Nashville. Forgiveness, forgiveness...remember that before you need to bring one of these home, “Doghouse Rose.”

- Jessie Scott

- Music For

"Sara Petite: Bootleggers"

I don't know if you get HBO, but I am digging the new show Boardwalk Empire. It explores the era of prohibition in that fabled town of gilded pleasure, Atlantic City, and is set against the great art deco architecture, coupled with opportunism born of desperation. I'm sure the book that inspired the show is an interesting read, too. Freeing the liquor or making it appear out of thin air; why are we so taken with these activities, these enduring 'common man beats the heat' stories? Outrunning the revenuer in the hollow, bringing booze in across the border from Canada, stomping grapes in the bathtub in Brooklyn. These are stories of folk heroes. I don't know what it is with man and "the buzz," but I suspect it has been going on since the dawn of time. For some reason, it resonates even today when we don't have that to rail against.

Observe if you will exhibit A: that would be Sara Petite, who fairly explodes when she hits the stage. She came to visit us on the last morning of the Americana Music Festival in Nashville just a few weeks ago, and she brought us the song "Bootleggers." She is one of the new crop of female singer/songwriters that are Americana traditionalists, with a gonzo twist, a rocking attitude that makes you want to jump out of your chair. She put out her third album, Doghouse Rose, just a few months ago, and presently she is bouncing around the country. Catch her if you can, though she may just outrun you. There is that wild spirit of evading the cops in this song. You will want to take chase after her.

- Jessie Scott

- Music Fog

"Sara Petite: Doghouse Rose"

Sara Petite: Doghouse Rose
San Diego country singer/songwriter backed by stellar Nashville players

The opening track from Sara Petite’s third album will grab your ears if for nothing else than the phased guitar sound that recalls the soul of Waylon Jennings’ “Are Your Sure Hank Done it This Way?” Petite sings with the girlish lilt and firecracker energy of Rosie Flores, and her crack band (which includes studio hotshot guitarist Kenny Vaughn, bassist Dave Rorick and drummer William Ellis) adds instrumental nuances that really give the productions something extra. Petite’s voice is twangy, perhaps too country for Country, and there’s a lot of rock ‘n’ roll punch in the band’s playing. The slap-back echo of “Baby Let Me In” adds a vintage twist to Petite’s voice, but Vaughn’s guitar is tougher and the rhythm more overpowering than straight rockabilly or honky-tonk.

Petite’s a gifted singer with a lot of texture in her voice, a bit like Texas singer Kimmie Rhodes. She sings the album’s title track with a parched tone that seeks acceptance, and infuses desperate longing into a cover of Harlan Howard’s “He Called Me Baby.” Her band is right there with her, laying back or charging hard ahead as befits each song. The electric guitars provide sympathetic vamps for the sadder tunes and prod Petite to stand up when she’s fallen down. Sasha Ostrovsky’s dobro adds stringy twang throughout, and the rhythm section really adds muscle to the up-tempo numbers. Petite wrote all but one of these songs, and her lyrics have a conversational easiness that makes her stories, observations, realizations and confessions feel intimate.

Doghouse Rose has been out since November of 2009, but like many independent releases it’s only slowly gathering the attention it deserves. Petite’s well known in her adopted San Diego (she’s originally from Washington State) and made connections in Nashville; she’s gained exposure in Europe, opened for Josh Turner, Todd Snider and Shooter Jennings, and won several songwriting awards, yet her third album is still seeking broad release and listeners’ ears. Perhaps she needs to get to Nashville or Austin or North Carolina or New England to find herself a sympathetic label. In the meantime you can find Doghouse Rose in her website store. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]
- Hyperbolium

"‘Who is this? She’s amazing ’‘She’ is singer-songwriter Sara Petite"

‘Who is this? She’s amazing’
‘She’ is singer-songwriter Sara Petite. ‘Amazing’? By all accounts, she is

Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 12:03 a.m.


Quote of note: “Every song I write is based on life experience or listening to other people’s stories, or stories that have been passed down through my family. The rustic quality of my music comes from my family.”

Getting laid off in 2006 from her position as an operations manager for a San Diego technology company was an undisguised blessing for Sara Petite.

“It was the best thing that could have happened to me,” said the San Diego singer-songwriter, whose debut album, “Tiger Mountain,” was released only two months before her day job came to an abrupt but ultimately well-timed end.

“I was already devoting so much of my time to music that I was really tired every day when I went to work. Financially, I was better off with a really boring job. But mentally, I wasn’t — I went crazy!”

Making music full time has enabled this Washington farm-town native to maintain her sanity by thriving artistically, and vice versa. Whether performing country, rock, bluegrass, folk, old-time mountain ballads or any other style now lumped under the catchall Americana music umbrella, Petite sings and writes with an earthy charm that is free of frills and affectation.

A 2003 graduate of USIU, where she majored in political science and international relations, she recently released her third and most accomplished album, “Doghouse Rose.” (Its title pays tribute to the book “Doghouse Roses” by Steve Earle, one of Petite’s favorite singer-songwriters.)

She recorded the album in Nashville at Insomnia Studio, which is co-owned by former Booker T. & The MG’s guitar great Steve Cropper. It was produced by Cropper’s Insomnia partner, Eddie Gore, whose résumé includes working with Cropper, Steve Winwood and ex-Rascals singer-keyboardist Felix Cavaliere.

Gore discovered Petite through his friend, Melanie Howard. She is the widow of legendary country music songwriter Harlan Howard, whose credits include writing Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces,” Ray Charles’ “Busted” and Patty Loveless’ “Blame It on Your Heart.”

“About a year and a half ago, Melanie, who has amazing taste, called me,” Gore, 45, said from Nashville. “She said: ‘I want you to check this record out from San Diego, and it was Sara’s ‘Lead the Parade’ album. The first song was ‘Little House’ and my jaw just dropped. I was like, ‘Who is this? She’s amazing.’ All I had to hear is half that song to know. It had great lyric content and a whimsical attitude. Sara is so smart, especially in today’s formulaic music world. I have so much respect for strong women like her, especially living in today’s male bull-crap-dominated world ”

Gore hails Petite as “a female Steve Earle — she’s that good.” He believes that with major distribution for the album and a nationally established concert booking agent, “Doghouse Rose” could duplicate the Grammy-winning success of “Van Lear Rose” the wonderfully rootsy 2004 Loretta Lynn album that was produced by the White Stripes’ Jack White.

By coincidence, Petite’s first musical epiphany came at age 4 when her mother began playing her albums by Lynn, followed by Dolly Parton and Buddy Holly. But it wasn’t until she was attending USIU in 2001 that this former child pianist began playing guitar.

Petite, then a Hillcrest resident, wrote her first song, the self-empowering “She’s a Woman,” soon thereafter. It was inspired by a spirited argument she engaged in with the manager of the Encinitas bistro she worked in at the time.

“I wrote it on the way home, just made it up, and then I thought ‘Oh, I’m a songwriter,’ ” Petite said.

Shy by nature but also a self-described “goofball,” Petite has made her living as a musician for the past four years. She leads two bands, the all-acoustic Tiger Mountain Boys and the twangy, country-rocking Sugar Daddies. Her performance tomorrow night ?at the Belly Up Tavern’s “Hearts for Haiti” benefit concert will be without either band, just her, a microphone and her guitar.

In April, Petite embarks on her fourth concert tour of Ireland, followed by her first shows in England. When not on the road, she works one night a week as a bartender at the Ould Sod in Normal Heights, a venue she has also performed in numerous times and cites as an ideal location to obtain songwriting inspiration through quiet observation. She is so comfortable in this intimate setting, whether working behind the bar or on stage, that she regards the Ould Sod’s owners, staff and some of its regulars as a second family.

In any setting, though, the opportunity to perform her heartfelt songs can result in catharsis, for her if not her audience.

“I don’t think most people realize how much work you have to do before you get to the show. But once I get to the show and get to play with my band, it’s kind of a release,” Petite said.

“The more I can get into that mode of being authentically myself, the better off I am.”

George Varga: (619) 293-2253; - San Diego Union Tribune

"Alt-512's Monthly Album Reviews & Recommendations"

March sped by and we even though missed the bulk of the SXSW craziness between traveling and (real, bill-paying) work, we have hardly had time to listen to the submissions from our friends at ReviewShine. When the month started, we had downloaded a bunch of records but only one caught our ear this month and that one ended up in continuous rotation on the alt512 iPhone. The record we're pumping this month is Sara Petite's Doghouse Rose.

Sara Petite's voice is classic country. The songs themselves, all written by Petite except for one co-write and a Harlan Howard cover, remind us of the best of the best stuff that Chip Taylor wrote for his collaborations with Carrie Rodriguez a few years back. But it's more than that. The songs themselves run the gamut from bluegrass ("Bootleggers") to singer/songwriter ("Souvenirs", not the Prine/Goodman song) to straight country/honky-tonk ("Doghouse Rose", "Baby Let Me In") and even a little pop.

"Crazy" embodies the element of Doghouse Rose that we identify with most: honesty. We find all too often that artists tend to veil emotion or action at the risk of offending god-knows-who or in the interest of art or poetry (not that there's anything wrong with that). We kinda like things frank sometimes and Sara Petite delivers on the bad-decison-making-romp of "Crazy":

We made love in the church, we made love on the bar
The hotel, the motel, the love in the car
And we were crazy, oh so crazy
He had me swinging from the tables to the chandeliers
And whiskey was a-grinnin' from ear to ear

After the first few listens something really struck us: that this sounded like a Nashville record. Of course, we're not the biggest Nashville fans but what we came to find after a few more listens was that these songs, the things that can make or break a record before it's even recorded, were SPECTACULAR, regardless of the arrangement and Nashville-y production. Like the Tim Harwill record we latched onto back in January, we're definitely going to be buying the rest of the Sara Petite catalog as soon as humanly or digitally possible.

Between this and Harwill's The Wander Man Revisited, we have our early front-runners for the album of the year. [Yeah, I know Doghouse Rose was released in 2009 but I didn't get a heads up about it until this year, so there you go.]

We cannot recommend this record strongly enough. - Alt - 512

"Concerts in San Diego - Sara Petite opening for Dave Alvin"

The first time I saw Sara Petite and the Sugar Daddies they were opening for Shooter Jennings. I was more impressed with Sara's performance than Shooters. This time she was opening , for Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women. Both shows were at the Belly Up, and both times I left smiling. The Sugar Daddies are lead guitarist Rick Wilkins, Wade Maurer on bass, John Kuhlken on drums, and Steve Peavey on guitars/mandolin.

Sara Petite makes her home in San Diego and has grown quite a following, not just locally but worldwide. With the release of her new CD Doghouse Rose, she hopes to expand on the notoriety she earned with her first two independent CDs Tiger Mountain and Lead the Parade.

Sara Petite's website bio states that she learned to sing country music in her hometown of Summer, Washington by listening to Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. Singing along with her sister, they would perform for family and friends, mimicking the vocal inflections of their idols, Parton and Lynn, and it's evident in her style.

But it's not just her voice, or her award-winning songwriting, or her band. It's the whole package. And on top of that, you can just tell how much fun she is having performing from the moment she hits the stage (Crazy) to the final note of the final song (Promiseland). Her smile is infectious. Just looking around, everyone in the crowd is doing something. Some dancing, some nodding their heads with the music, some singing along, but everyone is smiling. She has that effect.

Every song tells a story, and she shares many of them in between songs. Like the bluegrass ditty Little House, which she tells the inspiration she drew from her visit to Paris, and the small accommodations she shared while there. Bootleggers tells of running moonshine with her sister on Tiger Mountain, which is not only the title of her first CD, but also the emotional home of her family in Washington state.

It won't be long before Sara Petite is the headliner, and another up-and-coming artist will be able to say "Remember when we opened for Sara Petite?".
- the Examiner

"Sara Petite: Doghouse Rose Cd Review"

Sara Petite
Sweet P Publishing
Stellar line-up, extraordinary talent and award-winning singer-songwriter... can't get better than this for a bluegrass/country-rock album!
This San Diego award winning blueqrass and country singer-songwriter has just released her third album following TIGER MOUNTAIN and LEAD THE PARADE. Standout tracks on this record include the blueqrass-rock Doghouse Rose, singer-songwriter driven Souvenirs and the pop rock infused Crazy. Recorded and produced by Eddie Gore at
the Insomnia Rerording Studio in Tennessee, Petite's latest recording features former Duke's member Harry Stinson on backing vocals, former Johnny Cash and Dwight Yoakam bassist Dave Ro, former Lucinda Williams guitarist Kenny Vaughn and Keith Anderson's drummer William Ellis. This stellar line-up combined with Petite's eleven originals. one co-write and one cover, really showcases extraordinary talent and does a full round up of bluegrass, country, pop and rock offering variety to even the least likely of listeners. - LB

- Maverick Magazine

"Sara Petite and the Sugar Daddies - Prince Albert, Brighton UK Show"

Sara Petite duly arrived with her superb band of Rick Wilkins on electric guitar and backing vocals, Wade Maurer on bass and John Kuhlken on drums. Sara has a hugely appealing, self-deprecating personality that matches her heart-on-sleeve, tell it like it is descriptive songs. The weighting at this gig was naturally on the side of her new album, DOGHOUSE ROSE, which is currently in perpetual motion on my c.d player! Her voice is reminiscent of Carrie Rodriguez or Nanci Griffith with its lovely twang and ability to wrest every last drop of emotion out of every word. The big difference is that many of her songs are confessional and in some cases are about subjects that can be a little edgy. Without exception they draw you into the real life tales, almost enabling you to feel and certainly to sympathise with what the song's subject must be feeling. An excellent example is The Secret, a tale of illicit love that no young female would want her mother to know about, although Sara's obviously does now! Dead Man Walking can sound quite harrowing with its imagery of a violent end to life and with its big sound giving it an almost epic feel of hopelessness; a classic in waiting? Imagery is probably what makes her stand so far out from the crowd, with her songs painting pictures and emotions that very few can match. There is considerable humour as well, with her between songs patter making her seem more like 'the girl next door' who is telling stories to her close friends. Every song was a highlight, be it the put down of Doghouse Rose, the self-explanatory Moonshine or the beautiful heart rending tribute to her grandfather Flying In Our Dreams.

Sara is an incredibly gifted artist Who defines what country music should be. No frills, no gloss, great songs. great singing and great playing. One of the best gigs of this century so far.
- Maverick Magazine

"Sara Petite Roots Americana"

Which spot on the map gets the nod when the term 'mountain music' pops up? You can probably trace Garden of Eden style first steps to somewhere in the Appalachians. Over time, the term and the sound land on the who is playing and not the where. Hearing Sara Petite could easily make you think she grew up down a dusty road near Butcher Holler. She called the Northwest home and Loretta came callin' in stereo speakers, not through the back gate. Sara and her twin sister fell in love with Loretta Lynn via the movie 'Coal Miner's Daughter'. Mom would get albums from the library and the young girls would perform for friends and family. She picked up not only voice inflections but a love of country music.

On her third album, 'Doghouse Rose', the twang meets the punch. A rock edge anchors the rhythms as bent and distorted riffs playfully float by while Sara's voices pushes through the tracks like a freight train barreling out of the Smokies. The title track brings the gift of warm harmonies and soft organ chords as much as the narrators outstretched hands offer up their doghouse rose. Ragged and raging beats allow tales of a last night on earth ("Promised Land"), getting out ("She's Gonna Fly"), giving in ("Baby Let Me") and how a girl makes a buck ("Bootlegger") move. Whenever Sara's voice comes in, it takes the spotlight. Rather than compete, producer Eddie Gore allows the instrumentation to be flashy without being pushy.Sara is not just a voice, however. The power of a vocal alone cannot drive a song enough to bring the listener back again. There needs to be that grab, songs that bring a smile, make you think or take you back to a real or imagined past. There is a joy in words and her characters on songs like "Crazy" and "Souvenirs" while an inside battle of conflicting emotions crackles the air on "Shouldn't be Doing This" and "Take What I Can Get". Whether it is the infectious draw of "Magnolia" or the mirror reflection in "Beautiful Thing", Sara's words share her feelings as much as match up with those of others. The stories are familiar, we have all either been there, wanted to be there or are on our way there.

The singer/songwriter joined The Alternate Root in Nashville along with mandolin player Steve Peavey for an acoustic set for Alternate Root TV. We've pulled together a video of 'Bootleggers' from that memorable session along with some selections from her latest album 'Doghouse Rose.' Enjoy the music and video in the player below and support independent musicians!
- Alternate Root


Still working on that hot first release.



Currently at a loss for words...