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Portrait of Sarah Popejoy

Sarah Popejoy


About Sarah Popejoy

Seagoville, TX

Hey guys this is my bio. Usually you write it in the third person (or worse pay someone) making it sound like someone else is talking about you, but I'd rather talk to you straight up.  I write songs and have been doing it for a long time. (For you press writers who like to add up age I'll leave out how long.) Plus I just lie about my age to them anyways.  Like I said, straight up.  It all started when someone said, "Hey Sarah, You know a lot of artists (I painted) are good songwriters, you should try to write a song." So that night I wrote a song. It was very bad. But I kept writing. Then I started making scratch demos as a teenager. I knew I wanted my stuff heard so I started getting them to artists. I first snuck backstage at a Wynonna Judd concert and handed her a demo tape when I was 16. Then I remember hunting down Terri Clark by waiting for her in her hotel lobby and handing her a demo tape. I tracked down Trisha Yearwood's tour bus and handed the tape to her bus driver. I would have met Patty Loveless if I would have lied and said "Yes" that I was opening act. Still kind of regretting that one.  Prior to moving to Nashville, I was not a good singer. I pretty much sucked. I took vocal lessons for about 4 years and by the grace of God I learned to sing. In my home state of Oklahoma, after a couple years of vocal lessons I preformed at a contest at this cowboy bar in Tulsa. Saving everyone the suspense, I did not win. But there was something magical that happened that night that I will never forget. As I was playing with the band (several had played before me and the dance floor was empty) all of a sudden a couple went out to the dance floor and started dancing to a song I had written. Then another couple stepped out. From that moment I was hooked on performing. I remember contacting a local singer by the name of Debbie Campbell, and asked her for advice. She had one thing to say. "Move to Nashville." So then I had graduated nursing school and moved to Nashville not long after that. And please don't ask me to look at a rash you've been wondering about. My dream was to work as a nurse on the weekends so that I could spend 5 days a week writing in Nashville, so that's what I did. Hey I mean if Naomi Judd was a nurse why couldn't I be one?  I went to a lot of open mics in Nashville, and honed up my songwriting skills. I also limited my playlist to the best writers I could find. Top spins on my list were Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, and Kim Richey. And lets not forget a lot of Matraca Berg. What was cool about Nashville is a lot of these folks I listened to recorded and saw live as well.  The Bluebird Café was my favorite hangout for that very reason. And there was nothing cooler than getting to perform in the same room your heroes performed in. After playing in several clubs and listening rooms in Nashville I got the bug to tour. I remember seeing Shawn Colvin at an outdoor concert in Nashville with Mary Chapin Carpenter. And I thought to myself, "If she can get out there and sing in front of thousands of people then so can I." Started calling all kinds of venues including ones I had no business getting into at the time. But I didn't care I just called. Learned how to make press kits and spent way too much money paying my dues and started to send them out to clubs, radio, newspapers, and anyone who would take them. Somehow, I got invited to "Cutting Edge of the Campfire" at Club Passim in Cambridge (Shawn Colvin, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell all played there at some point). On stage that weekend was also Deb Talan of the Weepies and Edie Carey. Still love their music today. I also later recorded a Deb Talan song called, "How Will He Find Me." If it appears that I'm name dropping right now, I am. So lets move on.  I was able to get some spins on college stations and I believe some AAA stations by bugging the hell out of them. I did this Borders tour before they went bankrupt. And HEY! That was not on me. Although they did buy a lot of CD's and I was able to go to a lot of places because of Borders. I'll always be grateful to them for that. One of the coolest things that ever happened was being put on hold while trying to book more gigs with them and hearing my song being played over the phone while on hold. A really cool turn of events too was opening for Debbie Campbell at Summer's Fifth Night in Tulsa in front of an estimated 10,000 or more people.   Eventually I found my way to San Diego playing at Southern California University. So it's an outdoor gig, and I'm told there will be a sound system. If you're an experienced musician you're laughing right now.  Oh, there's a sound system just no electricity and no cord which means no way to plug it in even if you had electricity. So I do what any songwriter would do, I go without a sound system. And I sing loud. A funny thing is though, when you don't have anything to say between songs (Because yelling would be ridiculous.) your set gets really, really short. So a hour and a half set was through within an hour and I'm like crap what do I do? Do I just start my playlist over and hope nobody remembers? No. I just start making songs up on the spot. Then I realize that nobody knows that I'm making songs up on the spot. Eventually this became part of my playlist when I would play out. (With a sound system this time.) I would ask people in the audience to give me a word or a phrase and then I would write a song to it on the spot. It was really fun and kind of a rush for me as well. So in these years as a songwriter and artist, I put together three albums. Two studio albums and a live album. Complete Exposure, the first album, is more driven and country-rock-esq. I recorded a Mary Chapin Carpenter song called "Middle Ground" on that one. Jimmy was probably the most popular song that I would perform at shows. The second cd which is actually the last recorded is called Live at Radio Café. This was recorded at a club in East Nashville. And the latest studio album was recorded at First Avenue Sound in Franklin, TN. Gwen Sebastian who was on The Voice sang background, and Erig Halbig guitarist for Thompson Square played guitar and mandolin. (Alert! More shameless name dropping!) They're all available on iTunes. Hey, a girl's gotta give her sales pitch.  

Later, 
Sarah 
 
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