Sarah McQuaid

Date/Time Sun 22 Jan 2023 7:45 PM

Price Online - £10 + £1 fee; On The Door - £12


Born in Madrid (to a Spanish father and an American mother), raised in Chicago and holding dual Irish and American citizenship, Sarah McQuaid has made England her home since 2007.

Sarah was taught piano and guitar at an early age by her folksinging mother, and remembers being inspired by meeting her distant cousin, well-known singer/songwriter/storyteller Gamble Rogers, at her grandmother’s house in Indiana. From the age of twelve she was embarking on tours of the US and Canada with the Chicago Children’s Choir, and at eighteen she went to France for a year to study philosophy at the University of Strasbourg.

Sarah’s early albums featured Irish traditional tunes and Appalachian folk songs, along with her own songs and she soon expanded her repertoire to cover older (medieval) and newer (John Martyn) influences and has continued to explore new instruments and styles.

In April 2017, Sarah was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ards International Guitar Festival in Newtownards, Northern Ireland in recognition of her innovative use of the DADGAD tuning and her authorship of The Irish DADGAD Guitar Book (Ossian/Music Sales Inc, 1995).

Since we last saw her in 2015, there’s been a studio album: If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous and 2020’s The St Buryan Sessions, a full-length live concert sans audience in the beautiful medieval church of St Buryan in rural West Cornwall. The album presents Sarah’s body of work in a beautiful setting and is one of the finest lockdown releases in this or any genre (play the video below for a taste).