Music

Taos welcomes The Real Sarahs and their authentic selves

Trio evokes an emotional response in a growing legion of fans

By Tamra Testerman
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 4/11/19

Singer Sarah Larkin, one third of the melodic, jazzy, bluesy sound of The Real Sarahs, said they aim "to inspire more women and girls to come into their authentic selves."

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Music

Taos welcomes The Real Sarahs and their authentic selves

Trio evokes an emotional response in a growing legion of fans

Posted

Singer Sarah Larkin, one third of the melodic, jazzy, bluesy sound of The Real Sarahs, said they aim "to inspire more women and girls to come into their authentic selves." The band is composed of Larkin, vocals and guitar, Sarah Ryan, vocals, ukulele and guitar, and Jen Rund, vocals and bass. Their sound is ensconced somewhere between Joni Mitchell and B.B. King, and they are performing today (April 11), 7 p.m., at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west. There is no cover charge for this show.

We spoke with Larkin from the first stop of their tour on the Mendocino coast in California. Here are the highlights.

What makes a song that stands the test of time?

A song with elements that speak to the core of the human experience. A story or concept that the listener can relate to and evokes an emotional response on some level, be it joy, or pain or a memory filed away in the recesses of the heart or mind. People want to know that they aren't alone.

How do you know when what you've written is working, and when it is finished?

There are a few markers of being successful in getting through to your audience. One is tears, and we've seen many during our shows. It's a sign that our lyrics or performance deeply touched someone and that the walls have come down, allowing for emotion to be released. Dancing is another good sign. If we compel people to move -- if they are embodying the music - then it has sunk in. Another delight, as a songwriter, is when an audience is so absorbed in your work, that they react to the lyrics as they are delivered.

They laugh at the funny line, they smile as they visualize the lyric coming to life in their mind's eye and if they sing along, you know that you've gotten through. A song is finished when you have built a structure around a concept that has legs and can stand alone. When you can deliver a work that doesn't leave you feeling half full. A song that, after you have finished playing or singing the last note, holds mass in the air you can almost touch but just as quickly dissipates and releases and becomes part of the past.

Have you been to Taos before? What are you expecting?

Some of us have traveled through Taos as individuals, but we've never toured through as a band. This area is rich with culture and counterculture, and a local population that is creative and open. We are expecting to meet inspiring and interesting people we hope will resonate with our honest, sometimes political, sometimes humorous, original music. Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership has lots of character and brings in a lot of great entertainment, so we think we'll fit right in!

How do you balance life on the road?

We all have our own tricks to maintain our health and happiness while traveling. Jen has a specific routine involving morning coffee, before conversation, and it is in everyone's best interest to give space for this. She is also self-sufficient and great at having healthy snack foods on hand to keep us from binge eating junk food.

I need personal space and movement so I go running or walking and do yoga as much as possible. Sarah Ryan is an early riser, so she often gets up and makes breakfast and tea and enjoys quiet time and gets a jump on the day's business. We all have a personal history with travel and love to explore new places and meet new people.

These experiences can be very inspiring for songwriting and help us remember how many great people the world is filled with. One tool we all use as an anchor is to sink into our time at home, when we are there, to fortify our strength and leave that cozy imprint to carry with us while we are away.

What are you listening to?

Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, Mandolin Orange, Ray Lamontagne, Lucas Nelson, Bobby Alu, and The Wood Brothers. Leon Bridges, Durand Jones & the Indications, Charley Crockett and the Greyboy Allstars have been in heavy rotation while classic artists like Van Morrison, Queen, Joni Mitchell, Joe Craven and the Grateful Dead are also represented.

What can Taos expect from your show?

Harmony-infused takes on favorites by artists like Bonnie Raitt, Gillian Welch, Kate Wolf and Tracy Chapman. Toe-tapping tunes and quiet, lyrically driven songs, which convey emotion and contemplation supported by acoustic instrumentation. You will also have the treat of seeing Jen Rund on electric and stand-up bass, who never stops moving onstage and brings an infectious energy that almost rivals her top-notch musicianship.

For more information, call the venue at (575) 758-1900 or visit taosmesabrewing.com.

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