Rising star Sarah McQuaid’s voice has been likened to malt whiskey, melted chocolate and “honey poured into wine” (Minor 7th). A captivating performer, she seduces her audience with cheeky banter and stories from the road, as well as with stunning musicianship; in her hands, the guitar becomes much more than merely an accompanying instrument.
“A great songwriter and traditional singer, and a wonderful guitarist.” — Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2, UK
“Brilliant musicianship, a warm and welcoming stage presence and a voice as rich, matured and knowing as the finest thrice-distilled Irish malt whiskey.” — Geoff Wallis, fRoots, UK
“Likely to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.” — Aled Jones, BBC Radio 2, UK
“An unreserved thumbs-up. Captivating performance, great songs, playing and singing. Sarah was also totally professional, charming and low maintenance. What more could you ask for?” — Gerry Evans, TwickFolk, UK
“Pure magic!! We are running our folkclub for 16 years now but I never experienced such a thrilling interaction between artist and audience.” — Piet Snellen, De Fookhook, Netherlands
Her musical output reflects her own eclectic background: Sarah was born in Spain, raised in Chicago, holds dual US and Irish citizenship, and now lives in rural England. Refusing to be pigeonholed, she spans the genres with both her beautifully crafted originals and her interpretations of material from around the globe and down the centuries. Sarah’s third solo album The Plum Tree and the Rose has drawn critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic: “Impeccable,” wrote fRoots (UK), while Midwest Record (USA) called it “low key but glorious and incendiary” and Hot Press (Ireland) said it “should feature on many end-of-year best-ofs.”
Sarah is also the author of The Irish DADGAD Guitar Book, described by The Irish Times as “a godsend to aspiring traditional guitarists,” and has presented workshops on the DADGAD tuning at festivals and venues around the globe.
Her new album, The Plum Tree and the Rose, was released in March 2012 on the Chicago-based Waterbug Records label. It was No. 3 on the Folk-DJ Chart for March 2012, and by April was No. 5 on the Euro Americana Chart; in June, it was No. 6 on the Roots Music Report Folk Top 50.