"Sarah Shook is not concerned with sounding pretty for you"
July 16, 2020 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Meet Sarah Shook, Country Music’s Radical And Ordinary Hero (Fader): "The other thing that is really important to me is having a very diverse audience. This genre of music attracts a certain kind of person sometimes who is very close-minded and I want to tell those people, 'Look, you're welcome to be a fan. But full disclosure, I'm a fucking civil rights activist, and I'm a bisexual, and I'm an atheist, and I'm a vegan,' you know what I mean? That's a whole lot of non-redneck shit right there." (Rolling Stone)

Sarah Shook Has Words for the Rich-Ass Motherfuckers of Pop Country (Vice): Equal parts Joan Jett and Hank Williams, Shook and the Disarmers are pioneers, finding a space that allows them to marry country and punk without falling victim to the corniness that can come from trying too hard to make one sound like the other. It’s not country, rockabilly, punk, or even cowpunk.
Years (2018) Bandcamp/Spotify: At its pounding heart, Years crackles with a pointedly contemporary and relevant take on the outlaw spirit. Built around the buoyant pedal steel of Phil Sullivan, and the post-punk rattle and Live at San Quentin hum of Eric Peterson’s guitar, there are echoes of Nikki Lane and Merle Haggard as much as Ty Segall. Its home is the ragged-but-real honky tonk, not the bro-country “honky tonk." (Country Queer)
Band to Watch: Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, a Renegade Outlaw Country Band from North Carolina (Wide Open Country): "Margo Price is killing it right now. Nikki Lane's new record is fantastic. Kelsey Waldon--she's just mind-blowingly good. It just seems that all of the mainstream publications want to talk about Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson. They're like the Holy Trinity for the country revival. I certainly don't have a problem with their music or with them as artists. But it's frustrating that you have women that are putting out equally quality material and writing really great, brilliant songs and they're just kind of like an afterthought."
Sidelong (2017) Bandcamp/Spotify: Sidelong is an ode to hotmessness, as Shook candidly lays all the unflattering bits of herself on the table. She confronts the drunkenness, loneliness, humiliation and general hopelessness of being just on the verge of getting your life together, and she does it with a rowdy, classic country spirit that doesn’t romanticize it, but rather, shows it for the raw experience it is. (No Depression)
Sarah Shook talks touring and activism (Smile Politely): On Manifest, the music festive she co-founded where every band has to have at least one woman, woman identifying, or non binary member: "I think giving women and minorities visibility and representation and presenting it in a very matter of fact, it's-no-big-deal-this-is-normal kind of way is paramount. It's not radical or edgy or sensational for these folks to have a platform, it's what should be the norm, you know?"
Seven (Sara Shook and the Devil) (2015) Bandcamp/Spotify: [H]er smoky and haunting voice, and the warbles and yodels and moans that only she can pull off are all there and deftly utilized as she probes her vocal range and reigns in her control, discovering along with the audience her capabilities as a country vocalist, with that undeniable pain and darkness that makes her sound so enthralling bubbling to the surface. (Saving Country Music)
Live (Youtube):
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers on Audiotree Live (Full Session)
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers - Full Performance (Live on KEXP)
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers live at Daytrotter Studios
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers - 2019 Blue Ox Music Festival FULL SET

Disarmers.com, Wikipedia, Instagram
posted by not_the_water (8 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Great post! A while back I asked for some country music recs on the green. I got a lot of great suggestions, and Sarah Shook was by far my favorite one.
posted by Ragged Richard at 12:22 PM on July 16

Lady Anti-bellum.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 12:56 PM on July 16 [6 favorites]

Sarah Shook is a badass.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:14 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]

I had a chance to see her band perform a while back and they were great. Reading the links above is just making me like her even more.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:33 PM on July 16

Last year my son called me from the Vancouver Folk Festival to let me know he just finished watching Sarah Shook. Then he must have figured he hadn't rubbed it in quite hard enough, so now I have a signed Sarah Shook trucker's cap that says "Where the heck were ya, Steve?"
posted by Killick at 1:44 PM on July 16 [11 favorites]

What a coincidence, I heard her on the radio this past weekend and have been listening nonstop since. Great music. Great voice.
posted by teh_boy at 2:21 PM on July 16

LOVE HER. Found her on the Leaving Whiskeytown playlist the AV Club put out after all the Ryan Adams fuckery broke.

Man, a UK tour seemed unlikely even precovid. Sad.
posted by ominous_paws at 3:58 PM on July 16

Well, damn. Back when I lived in Chapel Hill, I used to run into her at The Cave. I honestly didn't know her music was so good.
posted by Vhanudux at 10:30 AM on July 18

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