Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Sara (Sara Katherine Wooldridge) recalls having heard music constantly from an early age: “Everyone in my family sang as a hobby. My dad had a deep bass voice and used to sing in a barbershop quartet, while my mom was in a church choir. I was 15 when I started to play guitar, although my instrument is a bit different. I took the strings off a flamenco guitar and put on four bass strings, which makes the notes deeper than on a regular guitar, but not as low as a standard bass. When I was 17, I started playing in local clubs and bars and I received a good response; I knew immediately that this was what I wanted to do. There was a lull in acoustic solo acts during the late 1970s, but I stayed with it, doing studio work and putting together a band of my own. I also did backup work in Dallas for country music and local jingles.”
After spending time in New Mexico and Los Angeles as leader of Sara K. and The Boys Without Sleep between 1978-83, Sara hooked up with country recording artist Gary Nunn, and toured with him for over two years. “It was great fun and a valuable experience,” says Sara, “but my heart was really in writing and performing my own songs. So after I moved to Santa Fe, I met some good musicians and put out Gypsy Alley on Mesa/Bluemoon Records.”
Gypsy Alley teamed Sara with Bruce Dunlap, a guitarist from Santa Fe who has recorded two releases of his own with Chesky Records and helped bring her to the label. Sara, who still makes her home in New Mexico, was the proud recipient of the New Mexico Music Industry Coalition’s Best Album Award for Gypsy Alley. After being signed to Chesky, she recorded four critically acclaimed albums: Closer Than They Appear, Play On Words, Tell Me I’m Not Dreamin’, and Hobo. In 1997, she completed a nearly sold-out tour of Germany with guitarist/arranger Hui Cox and worked on the soundtrack to the Kevin Costner movie The Postman. (press release Chesky Records)
She recorded six albums for Chesky.
She toured Europe and planned to moved to San Francisco but remained where she was. At the end of her contract with Chesky, she felt she had “been ripped off in many directions by labels and touring companies”.
On her last tour through Germany under the Chesky contract, the owner of the German label Stockfisch Records, Günter Pauler, was called to be her sound specialist. He gave her a tour of his studio and offered her a contract and the prospect of having guitarist Chris Jones as a guest musician. Her first Stockfisch album, Water Falls (2001), was followed by a tour, which provided material for a live DVD and the album Live in Concert (2003). She won the Hi-Fi Music Award in 2003 from the German magazine Audio/Steoreoplay.
Her album Hell or High Water (2006) again featured Chris Jones on guitar and dobro. Jones died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma shortly after recording, before the album was released. Her fourth album for Stockfisch, Made in the Shade, came out in 2009, with new versions of songs from her debut album.
After the release of this album, she announced that she was going to quit the music business. In a note to her fans on her label’s website, she stated, “After many years on the road and writing music, I’ve decided to stop touring and recording. It’s hard to explain why but I hope you will understand. I had a good run but I think it’s over. It’s just too much for too little these days. Made in the Shade explains it as best as I know how.”
In 2015, Stockfisch published a live album called Horse I Used to Ride based on the recording of a solo concert in Sülbeck, Germany, on April 6, 2001. Out of habit, Günter Pauler, head of Stockfisch, had brought his mobile recording equipment to this concert. He asked Sara K. if he could record the concert, and she agreed. After that concert, Chris Jones added dobro guitar solos to these tracks in the studio. When Pauler sent the recordings to Sara K., she was thrilled. (wikipedia)
The music is ok, but the sound quality stinks. It reminds me of the sound we got when taping our choir in the local church with an mp3 recorder. (by Bruce)
Bruce’s opinion and approval are obscure at least. I’ve listen HOBO from net at first time, and purchase CD, it sounds much better. Cheskys 96Khz/24bit recordings are true audiophylle. Pro fully music delights, it’s required quality equipments and there are no mistakes. Great old songs like “Brickhouse” and “Oh Well” are amazing. Accoustic guitar, harmonica, retiring bass and percussions offers a straight live sensations. If you have an affection for naturaly sound, sans mixing, dubbing, electronics etc, your ears will be captured for a best award.
P.S. I’m a owner of ALL Saras recordings, and that’s most pleasurablly in my collection certainly. (by Vlada Neron)
I’ve only just recently discovered Sara k, The reason I have, is due to the the fact that I have a reference audio system and always on the look out for new quality sounds to play. Despite other reviews here I found the recording excellent with a great sound stage and a rich and realistic recording of some beautifully played acoustic instruments. I have another Sara cd and although I find some of her songs rather bland this CD. Contains some tracks that are a little more inventive especially tracks 1 & 7 which utilize diverse percussive sections to create a dynamic and absorbing experience, they are my current favorites from a collection of over 450 cd’s. Even if other tracks are not quite to my personal taste in their composition, the quality of the musicians performances and the recording itself make this CD a pleasure to listen to time after time. Listen, you wont regret it especially if you have a quality sound system. This leaves me confused as to one review here complaining about sound quality I can only imagine he/she has a problem with her/his equipment or the CD was not a genuine Chesky product. What ever the reason I would 100% disagree with his/her review.. (by Amatrix)
Hui Cox (guitar)
Bruce Dunlap (guitar)
William Galison (harmonica)
Randy Landau (bass)
Satoshi Takeishi (percussion)
Matthew Andrae (guitar, vocals on 09.)
01. Me Missin` You (Wooldridge) 5.18
02. If I Don`t See You Later (Wooldridge) 3.48
03. Brick House (Richie/Williams/La Pread/McClary/Orange/King) 5.59
04. I Really Do (Wooldridge) 4.06
05. Written In Stone (Wooldridge) 3.35
06. You`ll Never Walk Alone (Hammerstein II/Rodgers) 3.11
07. Oh Well (Green) 2.37
08. Hobo (Wooldridge) 3.31
09. Oughtta Be Happy By Now (Andrae/Wooldridge) 5.06
10. I Couldn`t Change Your Mind 4.08
11. Sizzlin` (Wooldridge) 3.51
12. Moving Big Picture (Wooldridge) 4.40