Sunday, 6 January, 2008 12:45 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: Sarah
BY RUSS HARRINGTON
recording artist Sarah Johns.
2007 CMA Close Up News Service
Like the sound of her
music, the story of Sarah Johns is classic. Raised in a fly-speck
Kentucky town, with a father so strict that she was punished when
caught listening to a Faith Hill album, Johns learned to raise her
head and sing in church before mastering the art of telling life's
sad and joyful tales by singing a Country song.
Johns didn't start performing
until after she'd enrolled at the University of Kentucky at Lexington,
but a long residency at Regatta's seafood restaurant sharpened her
skills to the point that she felt good about quitting school, bidding
her boyfriend adieu and heading down to Nashville to build a career
Eventually she won an
invitation from Toby Keith's manager, who had caught her act back
at Regatta, to do two songs on one of his client's tours. She chose
a pair of originals, the rollicking "When Do I Get to Be a
Woman" and the kiss-off anthem "The One in the Middle,"
probably the rowdiest celebration of a particular finger set to
music in recent years.
The response she earned
led straight to a record deal with BNA Records and a debut album,
Big Love in a Small Town, produced by Joe Scaife and loaded with
both of those barn-burners plus nine more songs that include a wickedly
funny ode to love at first sight ("He Hates Me") and power
ballads ("Touch Me" and "Baby My Heart") that
add raw physical spice into her formula for romance. All of these
bear her co-writing credit and reflect the promise that Johns has
lots more to say with her pen, her voice, her country-bred charisma
and maybe that middle digit every now and then.
IN HER OWN WORDS
What CD is on your
"George Jones' My Very Special Guests. I warm up my voice singing
along with this album."
Who is your dream
"Loretta Lynn, because I'm as feisty as she is."
What's your pet peeve?
"People who don't give 100 percent."
What word or phrase
do you find yourself saying over and over again?
"What city are we in?"
Do you have a lucky
"A horseshoe ring that my father gave to my mom on the day
I was born - oh, and a push-up bra."
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