In the long shadows of an early autumn evening in her hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, Sarah White strums hard on her beat up vintage sunburst Gibson, sending up sparks of lonesome Americana that draw a crowd toward the stage. It’s hard to make an association, to say what this music “sounds like,” but it’s immediately clear that White is the real deal, erasing the boundaries between indie rock, post-punk, country, and folk influences with her distinctive and wonderfully sad voice. Even those in the audience who have never heard her songs find themselves pulled in by the magnetic sincerity and strong melodies of White’s unique underground American roots rock, steeped in good time 70’s country music and guided by pop instincts and punk rock attitude.
White started her career in the late 90’s with two albums of mysterious, lo-fi, experimental folk-rock on the popular Jagjaguwar label. Her 1997 debut All My Skies Are Blue, was a collection of 4-track recordings pressed straight to CD. In 2000 she released her first studio album, the stunningly original Bluebird which The San Francisco Bay Guardian described as:
“A delicately bare and pretty album that ensures the singer-songwriter a place in the company of Cat Power’s Chan Marshall and Edith Frost. Yep, that good.”
In the intervening years, White has produced two EP’s, two singles, and another full length. Her 2006 album White Light has became a cult favorite for its eclectic and unique blend of driving folk-rock, sorrowful country ballads, and experimental, personal narrative songs. In 2007, White won “Best Song” in the Mountain Stage New Song Contest for the delicately austere “Sweetheart.”
“Sarah’s music kills me, beautifully from the ground up, no plastic.” — Dave Matthews
“Gorgeous, catchy, and ultimately moving songs.” — Richmond Times-Dispatch