Sarah, you’ve been in the studio recording and just released your first single “Two-Hearted Rounder,” which is fantastic! Could you tell me a little about the album and when you plan on releasing it?
Somehow I managed to persuade some of the baddest and most talented musicians in Birmingham to play my songs. With Will Stewart on guitar, Keelan Parrish on bass, Ford Boswell on pedal steel and Brian Gosdin on drums, the songs I wrote while sitting on my purple couch have turned into something. I’ve never played in a plugged-in band before now, always playing acoustic and bluegrass music growing up. I have to give a nod to Lester Nuby III, while I’m at it, for producing. The record drops on November 8 on Cornelius Chapel Records. The first single is currently available on streaming services. We’re cooking up some dates in Birmingham and making arrangements for some shows around the southeast.
What do you hope people take from listening to these songs?
Once a song is written and recorded, it goes out into the world, and you lose control of how people judge or interpret it. This particular group of songs lyrically carries the tone of latent strength and resilience, and aurally something between honky-tonk twang and windows-rolled-down weekend groove. So I guess I hope people take away empowerment and enjoyment.
If you could play a show with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Well, my first thought is that I’d like to play with my paternal grandparents. The c.1935 archtop Gibson I play belonged to my granddad, which he purchased new and put a ton of wear on the fretboard. My grandparents won a used car by singing for a radio contest, and I’d sure like to have a front porch hang with them now, and see what kind of Holy Ghost gospel harmonies we could conjure.
ALSO, WILLIE NELSON.
How long have you been writing songs? How has it evolved over the years?
I’ve been writing songs since I was a teenager, but I never really
felt like they were my true voice until about three or four years ago, when my dad let me take on my grandfather’s aforementioned guitar.
Something clicked when I started playing that guitar; I don’t know if it was from having a foot in the ancestral stream or what.
What’s the best advice you could give yourself?
You’ve got to go through this mess, or your songs won’t be the same.
And it’s going to be better than you ever thought when you get to the
Find Sarah at www.corneliuschapelrecords.com and on Instagram: @sarah.lee.langford.