Sarah Sample is an award-winning songwriter with a “raw, graceful voice” (Salt Lake City Weekly) and beautiful songs that weave a trail of stories through folk, Americana, and country and have garnered comparisons to Sheryl Crow, The Weepies, and Bonnie Raitt.
Redwing, Sample’s sixth album, features more of her cut-to-the-bone storytelling, framed with empathy and compassion, and told with the best singing of Sample’s career. Produced by Sample’s longtime producer Scott Wiley (Elliott Smith, Bonnie Raitt), Redwing came to life over a few weeks of sessions at June Audio in Provo, Utah.
Redwing is—among other things and in the grand tradition of albums—a breakup album. But this was no run-of-the-mill romantic heartbreak; Sample’s breakup was spiritual. She left the committed religion of her upbringing (and its stringent rules and by-the-book lifestyle) to chart her own spiritual course, with all the starting over, unmapped question marks, and personal reconstruction that come with it. In the process, she landed in Wyoming where, in her words, “the wide open spaces felt like open arms to me—the endless skies and horizons leave room for anyone to belong.” Redwing tells that story. And more.
Sample’s last album, ‘Til The Morning, paired her with songwriter Edie Carey as the two sang their favorite lullabies and songs of comfort, both wanting to bronze a bookmark for their years as mothers of young children. And that instinct proved to be inspired, as the collection won Best Children’s Album in the 2014 Independent Music Awards, the 2014 Parents’ Choice Gold Award (highest honor), and 2014 NAPPA Gold Award (also highest honor).
Sample has played several prominent festivals—Merlefest, Cayamo, Folks Fest, Sisters, Telluride, Kerrville (not to mention winning songwriting contests at most of them). She has also warmed up stages for artists like Darrell Scott, Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers, Marketa Irglova, and Over The Rhine.
As a kid she bounced across the country, from Santa Barbara to Austin to Salt Lake City, and that experience and wanderlust has seeped into all six of her albums. She’s also a founding member of the folk-gospel collective The Lower Lights, who take on gospel classics from old hymnals as well as Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, and even Stevie Wonder. She lives in the welcoming, wild wide open of Wyoming with her husband and two daughters.
Redwing was recorded at June Audio Studios in June/July 2017. Produced by Scott Wiley.