Sarah Mac Band_01

Sarah Mac Band at The Hideaway Cafe in St. Pete

I came up for a breath of air this weekend. Friday I helped a friend celebrate his 30th birthday, and Saturday was Sarah Mac Band CD release night!

They officially released their new album, Florida, Friday night. Since I participated in the crowd sourcing of their album, I got my copy of the CD in the mail on Tuesday. (One of the perks of pre-buying!) I’ve been listening to it all week. The first listen left me feeling tingly during the first three songs. Fantastic. And it stays that way all the way through…

Buy this album!

They had their 2nd release show at The Hideaway Cafe last night. My tradition for Hideaway shows is to go early to stake out my spot, and to get a bite and a brew. This time I was pleasantly surprised to see Claire setting up the merch table, and Sarah providing moral support. I asked if I could help, but Claire had it under control. So Sarah and I chatted a bit. Turns out we are both cider drinkers, and she can be a hermit too. That surprised me, considering her vocation…

Of course, I talk to 75 students for 8 hours a day, five days a week. So there you go…

Sarah left to get ready for the show.  I got my journal out and wrote for awhile, sipping my Crispin cider and eating my Gibson flatbread.

The Gibson flatbread is one of my favorite things to put in my mouth. Steak with a blue cheese horseradish sauce. An explosion of deliciousness in my mouth. 

The band opened with one of their new songs: “Actress.” This song makes me smile. Sarah postulates that she’s a good actress as a residue from acting in her 6th grade play. It’s an a capella song, soft and bluesy, and the lyrics are fantastic.

Throughout the first set, they alternated back and forth between playing their new songs and some older ones.


Libby O’Neill and Claire

The first few songs rocked, and they played one of my favorites from their last album: Freight Train. This song is on my running playlist. There’s a powerful drum line, that Joe Murphy orchestrated perfectly. The vocals and guitars complement it well. Definitely good for running. Or getting your groove on. Either way…

Last night the Sarah Mac Band was accompanied by Libby O’Neill. She was the musical ninja of the night, alternating between playing violin, guitar, shaker, and glockenspiel. We were treated to one her songs about halfway through the first set. I didn’t catch the name of it, but it was lovely. Check her out too!

The second set was as powerful as the first. Again, they started off slow and easy with a cover of “Stay with Me.” Then they moved into their “feminist bent” song: “Don’t Say Anything.” I really like this song. It definitely brings to mind all of the times that I’ve been silenced as a woman, or the times I’ve been judged for not staying silent.

The latter situation is probably the more prevalent of the two, since I am apt to speak my mind. But why not? Men do it all the time!


Charlie and Sarah

One of the reasons I like Sarah Mac Band so much is that they are so well balanced. All of the band members are so obviously talented. Sarah has some pipes, but she also more than holds her own on guitar, piano, harmonium sometimes… Claire is awesome on bass, and she plays an assortment of different types; including, a bass ukelele that is interesting to see and hear. Charlie is fantastic on lead guitar. I love watching his fingers move up and down the neck when he shreds certain songs.

I also find it amusing to watch him sing the “Do do do”s in “On and On,” from the new album.

They ended the night with “Satisfied,” another rocker from their last album. If you search for this on, it is titled “SATISFIED aka The Sex Song.” Appropriate. And fantastic. Being a simple, single gal, I gotta say I relate to this song. I don’t want much. This song sums up most of what I want whenever I do find that special guy. Maybe we could leave the house sometimes though too… 

The song is a sexy one, but I’m feeling the word in a more general sense. I feel full and satisfied. I’m glad I took some time off to regroup. Between hanging with friends and listening to music I love, I feel cleansed. I feel renewed. I feel like I can get through the next 11 days. 

October 15. The day of my dissertation defense…

For today, back to work. Cleaning, folding, grading, planning. Yet, I still feel satisfied.

Of course, while doing all of this work, I’ll be listening to Sarah Mac Band!

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