Why country music ?
~ Honestly, I write a lot more than country music. Mainly big ballads. I want to write for Disney at some point so I work on that in my spare time…but I’ve decided to base my performance career around country music for a couple of reasons: I’m from the small-town country and can relate to the topics. I love telling stories with songs and country music has done that so well. The other reason was because I didn’t want to feel like I had to take my clothes off and sell my body to be an artist. In so many of the other genres I feel like women are exploited for their sex appeal rather than recognized for their talent and I did not want to do that. It just felt like a safe place for me to really make a career based off of my songs. I won’t ignore the fact that it happens in country music as well, but it does seem like a place where a woman CAN choose to wear jeans and a t-shirt and still have a career.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included), which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ I mean for me the ultimate duet would be Elton John & I singing “Rocket Man” But…I’m not sure that would be the ULTIMATE duet for anyone else. haha
What song (that you’ve recorded) means the most to you and why?
~ Oh man the song I’ve recorded that means the most to me? I’m not sure…probably a song called “One Night at The Opry.” It’s not my favorite song I’ve written or anything, but I am attached to it because it represents how I feel about country music, and it talks about where I want to be someday: The Grand Ole Opry. For some of us it’s not a stepping stone to “bigger things”, it is THE BIGGEST thing.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ I lean towards writing all of my own music but If I COULD have anyone write a song for me it would definitely be Diane Warren. That woman is an inspiration to me and probably the best songwriter to ever walk the planet (aside from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton of course). And she writes alone. I love her music.
What is the one thing that readers/fans would be surprised to know about you?
~ I still have the used, bright yellow, Hyundai Tiburon that I bought my freshman year of college. It’s 12 years old…starting to rust on one side…but it’s the first thing I ever paid off with my own money and it has been the best car ever. Zero problems. I drive a truck most of the time now so I should sell it and buy a tour vehicle, but I just can’t bring myself to.
Give us one country song you never want to hear on radio anymore and tell us why.
~ Miller’s Cave: Hank Snow. Honestly I don’t know why…I just think it’s a weird song and I feel strange when I hear it. (My radio obviously consists of mostly Willie’s Roadhouse).
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and…you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ I’ve never thought about this before…I guess something about my family maybe. I love talking about my family/my upbringing. There were very tough parts but we’re a very eclectic family have some great stories. My dad builds model airplanes. Like the BIG kind. It’s very cool. But one day when I was a kid he had just finished this gigantic, really awesome pink one. Everyone in our little, rural neighborhood would come out to watch him fly them. Well, that day everyone watched him fly it directly into the neighbors mailbox and totally destroy it. We still give him hell for it, and he’s going to give me hell for writing about it.
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ The ultimate studio for me is a small house with a vocal booth and a tracking room. The basics. I don’t USUALLY care for big flashy studios. They intimidate me and I like more of the relaxed laid-back “I can eat pizza in here and no one will kill me if I drop a piece on the floor” vibe.
THAT SAID, I have been through some of those bigger studios, and while I’m not really drawn to them, I am dying to cut at Blackbird Studios in Nashville. I have a friend who works there and has walked me through a few times and it is, hands down, the coolest, most sonically thought-out place you will ever see. I mean, they have a room where the ceiling actually moves up or down to control the reverb. It’s cool but also incredibly useful.
Johnny or June ?
~ Johnny. She was an incredible songwriter, I just prefer his sound.
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any “rituals” to calm you nerves.
~ I still almost vomit before I go onstage. I don’t really have any rituals but I should probably consider coming up with some. I just try to do vocal warmups. I pace in circles mostly, hang out with friends. I don’t eat before I play. Honestly most of the time I don’t eat at all on days where I play until after I finish playing. I think it’s probably just to keep me from getting sick from nerves.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ The most memorable day in my music career so far has definitely been Loretta and her son Ernie inviting me onto her tour bus and just having regular conversation with her (and she invited me 20 minutes before she was supposed to go on, not two hours after the show). It wasn’t the most memorable day because I got to talk to Loretta Lynn (I had met her before that day but she didn’t remember at all and I wouldn’t expect her to) it was memorable because of what happened. I was walking out the door to get on the bus just thinking “don’t fall Sara.” I started walked up the stairs and I was looking at the ground just trying not to fall down. I didn’t fall. We hung out, she signed my guitar, and I went to get off the bus. I wasn’t nervous anymore so I could hear what was going on around me. I heard all of this screaming and I looked to my left and all of these people were behind a barricade just SCREAMING for her. I mean…it was like it was still 1969. I was so focused on not tripping going up into the bus that I didn’t hear any of them. I just thought, wow. This woman is a legend. THIS is what making it looks like: being 86 years old and you have fans still screaming for you. I realized why she is so revered after that night: she’s a great artist who makes great music, but she’s kind, and kindness is what truly makes legends.