|SARAH MCQUAID is a gifted and captivating performer whose warm, haunting alto is delicately cradled by her "sparkling guitar" (Sing Out!). She is both song crafter and song collector, equally at home with traditional Irish and Appalachian folk songs, Elizabethan ballads and 1930s jazz numbers. She is also renowned for her guitar work and is the author of acclaimed The Irish DADGAD Guitar Book. Her musical output is a direct and unfolding reflection of her own eclectic background: Sarah was born in Spain, raised in Chicago, holds dual US and Irish citizenship, and currently lives in rural England. Her new album, "The Plum Tree and the Rose," represents a departure from Sarah's previous albums, which focused on her arrangements of traditional material, in that nine of its thirteen tracks are originals.
||PERT NEAR SANDSTONE emerged from the same roots-based musical hotbed in Minneapolis that gave birth to Bob Dylan, The Jayhawks and Spider John Koerner. Originally formed by four friends from the same hometown, Pert Near Sandstone formed unintentionally over weekly, whiskey-fueled picking sessions in an old house in St. Paul, MN.The band rejuvenates American stringband music with raw energy; they play tightly-crafted original material that lends itself to the modern audience, as well as being stewards of the old-time and bluegrass traditions. Check out their high octane version of The Beatles "I Am The Walrus. The band's latest release is "Paradise Hop."