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Sarah McQuaid comes to The HopBarn, Southwell, to perform tracks from her St Buryan Sessions album

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An acclaimed singer-songwriter is set to perform tracks from her new album in Southwell. Multi-instrumentalist Sarah McQuaid is marking the release of her sixth solo album with a six-week UK tour.

It includes a performance at The HopBarn in Southwell on November 19.

Sarah said: “I can’t wait to get back out on the road again.

Sarah McQuaid performing live, credit Jörg Detering (51979991)
Sarah McQuaid performing live, credit Jörg Detering (51979991)

“Obviously, I’m nervous about covid, but I desperately miss performing to live audiences.

“The few gigs that I’ve managed to do this summer have been so, so lovely — every time I do a gig, it just brings home how much I’ve missed it.”

Born out of the pandemic, The St Buryan Sessions promises to be a journey through a vast spectrum of emotions and musical styles — moving through the sounds of acoustic guitar, piano, electric guitar, floor tom drum and songs that span 24 years of Sarah’s musical history.

Sarah McQuaid's album The St Buryan Sessions
Sarah McQuaid's album The St Buryan Sessions

Creation of the album began in rural west Cornwall in spring 2020, when the pandemic crippled tour plans, and came to fruition in a medieval church.

Financed by a crowdfunding campaign, the Church of St Buryan became the studio for a live solo recording of Sarah’s fan favourites — including In Derby Cathedral, The Sun Goes On Rising and Yellowstone.

The church provided an acoustic space for the recording and, with the aid of ambient microphones, Sarah’s sound engineer and manager, Martin Stansbury was able to capture a new sound for Sarah’s songs.

Sarah McQuaid recording The St Buryan Sessions, credit Mawgan Lewis
Sarah McQuaid recording The St Buryan Sessions, credit Mawgan Lewis

The St Buryan Sessions, released tomorrow, also pays tribute to the musician’s friend — and past producer — Michael Chapman.

Sarah said: “I was absolutely devastated by the news that Michael has left this world.

“He was a real musical mentor to me. I wouldn’t have ever started playing electric guitar if he hadn’t handed me his Ibanez Artist and said ‘Play this.’ I can’t express how sad it makes me to know that I won’t see him again.”

A cover of Rabbit Hills, written by Michael, was commissioned by his wife and sees Sarah play the church’s beautiful grand piano.

Sarah McQuaid, credit Phil Nicholls (51979686)
Sarah McQuaid, credit Phil Nicholls (51979686)

Conceived as a concert set, The St Buryan Sessions is an album made for live performance and Sarah’s tour plans include the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and US.

Before Sarah’s date at The Hopbarn, there is an appearance by folk duo Edgelarks tomorrow, from 7.30pm.

The pair, who won best duo at the 2014 BBC Folk Awards, are touring following the release of their latest album, At Home, which was created entirely by themselves at home during lockdown.

It’s their first album composed entirely of traditional songs.

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