I hadn't quite finished about Sarah McQuaid. So, are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll continue...
The lady gets around!
We have all heard, or read, about the travelling troubadours of old, right? And they were men, or so we are led to believe.
Well, I have found you a modern equivalent and it's an upgrade, for this is a lady. I follow her 'around' so to speak, on her travels across the United Kingdom and The United States, and gosh, she does make a lot of miles! (And makes me smile again and again by posting photos of the food she and her roady-cum-right-hand-man Martin eat on the road)
She plays festivals, but also tiny halls, where I imagine she has to put on her frock wrestling with the brooms in the closet, and does radio interviews with live performances which - absolutely amazing! - are always in key. If she has stumbled over lyrics or has missed chords, I haven't heard (and I have listened to hours and hours).
Sarah is one of those musicians who is able to work together with other musicians and blend in. She plays all kinds of music and does them all well. Obscure French stuff in a regional language even most French don't speak any longer? No problem. Elizabethan? Why not. Traditionals from the Blue Mountains? Sure. A new twist to a Sixties classic? Heck yeah. Pagan feminist (my interpretation, hope you won't mind, Sarah) songs with Zoë Pollock? Absolutely. And always, dotted in between like little hidden gems, her own autobiographical material. Beautiful loving songs about her much-missed mother, about her kids, about reflections next to a stream, about keeping the wolf from the door (ah...don't I know what that feels like!).
Okay. I'll stop now. Visit Sarah's website and treat yourself to a gift of music for the festive season. Go on!