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Sarah McQuaid New Album If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous

Sarah McQuaid New Album

If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous

Produced by legendary singer-songwriter and guitar sage Michael Chapman, If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous is the fifth solo album by UK-based singer/songwriter Sarah McQuaid.

Musings on mortality dominate this recording, but it’s by no means all gloom: “Break Me Down” is possibly the cheeriest song ever written about decomposition, while “One Sparrow Down” (backed
not by Sarah’s trademark DADGAD-tuned guitar but rather by a battery of
unorthodox percussion instruments including wine bottle and oven grill)
takes a similarly upbeat approach to the death of a bird hell-bent on
attacking its own reflection, unseen by the predatory cat calmly
watching from her perch on the windowsill. In the liner notes for the
album, Sarah thanks her cat Nightshine for contributing guest vocals to
the track, and apologises to her for the implicit metaphor.

A cover of Jeff Wayne’s melancholy “Forever Autumn” leads into an arrangement for voice and guitar of “Dies Irae”, the medieval chant whose melody is echoed not only in Wayne’s intro to his classic War Of The Worlds
number but also in countless film soundtrack themes (The Exorcist, The
Shining and Citizen Kane, to name a few). Here as elsewhere on the
album, McQuaid’s guitar shines on an equal basis with her
velvet-textured voice. Indeed, two of the tracks are purely
instrumental: “New Beginnings”, written as a wedding march for former pop star Zoë Pollock
of “Sunshine On A Rainy Day” fame (with whom Sarah recorded the album
Crow Coyote Buffalo under the band name Mama), and “The Day Of Wrath,
That Day”, whose title is a literal translation of the first line in
“Dies Irae”.

The
propulsive, apocalyptic title track was inspired by a warning McQuaid
heard herself giving her son as he excavated an enormous hole in their
back garden. There’s an obvious allusion to fracking (“Splitting cracks
in the rock to free the power inside”), but the song’s thematic scope
extends well beyond that: “Sometimes the way to fix a problem is to turn
the pressure off” is a maxim that could apply to virtually any aspect
of life.

On four of the tracks, including lead single “The Tug Of The Moon”, McQuaid plays an electric guitar belonging to Chapman, which he’s since given her on long-term loan. “The precision and sophistication of the writing and playing blows me away. I am so glad to be involved,” he writes in his introduction to the album booklet. Since meeting Sarah when both artists played the Village Pump Festival in 2014,
Chapman has become a staunch friend and supporter, even performing as
her opening act at a local concert he and his wife arranged for her.
Sarah became a regular visitor to the Chapmans’ farmhouse in Cumbria,
and during one visit he made her an offer she couldn’t refuse: “We were having a chat and a glass of wine, and he said ‘Why don’t you let me produce your next album?’,” Sarah recalls. “I’m glad he said

it, because I’d never have dared ask otherwise!”

Another
new addition is piano, which McQuaid plays to beautiful effect on “The
Silence Above Us” as well as on “Slow Decay” and “Forever Autumn”. Guest musicians include Chapman on archtop electric guitar, Roger Luxton on drums and percussion, Samuel Hollis on upright and electric bass, Richard Evans on trumpet, Georgia Ellery on violin and Joe Pritchard on cello.

If
We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous was made possible thanks to
financial support from Arts Council England Grants For The Arts, using
public money from the Government and the National Lottery, and from
Cultivator, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund,
the European Social Fund, Arts Council England and Cornwall Council. The
album will be launched with a concert at the Acorn Arts Centre in
Sarah’s adopted home town of Penzance on Thursday, 25 January, following
which she’ll be touring it extensively in the UK, Ireland, the
Netherlands, Germany and the USA.

January 2018

Thurs 25. The Acorn, Parade Street, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 4BU

Fri 26. Limelight Theatre Queens Park Arts Centre, Queens Park, Aylesbury, Bucks HP21 7RT

Sun 28. Folk In The Barn  The Black Robin, Covet Lane, Kingston, nr Canterbury, Kent CT4 6HS

Mon 29. Colchester Folk Club Colchester Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester, Essex CO1 1NF

Tues 30. The Roses Sun Street, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 5NX

Wed 31. Pavilions The Den Crescent, Teignmouth, Devon TQ14 8BG

February 2018

Fri 2. The Poly 24 Church Street, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 3EG

Sat 3. The Millpool Centre  The Millpool, West Looe, Cornwall PL13 2AF

Sun 4. The Square and Compass  Worth Matravers, Swanage, Dorset BH19 3LF

Mon 5. Terrace Cred @ The Greys 105 Southover Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 9UA

Thu 8. The Brindley Arts Centre High Street, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 1BG

Fri 9. The Sheep Dip Sessions Sheep Dip Lane, Princethorpe, Rugby, Warwickshire CV23 9SP

Sat 10. Ustinov Studio Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, Somerset BA1 1ET 

Sun 11. The Wharf Canal Road, Tavistock, Devon PL19 8AT 

See website for additional European tour dates, Feb 2018 = Netherlands + March 2018  = Germany

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