By Lily Goodman
When asked to describe the kind of music she composes, the singer-songwriter Sarah Louise grew hesitant. It became clear that was a question she wasn’t too comfortable answering.
“I appreciate people trying to put a genre to my music, and I get the reasoning behind it. But sometimes I wonder how valuable it is to classify yourself,” she said. “Personally, I like to leave it up to the listener, and try not to put too many words into their ears. I know this isn’t super gripping, but I guess it just sort of is what it is.”
There is no doubt, however, that Louise’s music is, in fact, gripping. Performing Thursday, April 6th at Trumpet Blossom Cafe, 310 E. Prentiss, as part of the Mission Creek Festival, Louise draws much of the inspiration for her music from the rural Blue Ridge Mountain landscape in which she lives. With roots in Appalachian folk music, Louise uses a steel stringed guitar to create a fresh take on compositions that incorporate both rich picking patterns and original tunings.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, but having spent much of her childhood in Asheville, North Carolina, Louise said she has always been interested in the nature that frequently inspires her music.
“I think I was born being really into nature. Even in Atlanta, I was always looking around the dirty creeks and turning over rocks to see what was underneath them, so then when I moved to the mountains of North Carolina it was such a revelation. I was able to be around everything that I liked all of the time, and I was able to see the things that I had only previously read about in books.”
And Louise’s relationship with nature has not gone unnoticed by critics.
After her debut CD-R, *Field Guide*, which was put out through Scissor Tail Records in early 2015, was a success, Louise then self-released *VDSQ Acoustic Series Volume 12* in May 2016, which was more widely received, and yet, met with the same kind of critical acclaim as *Field Guide*. NPR Music featured “Floating Rhododendron” from *Volume 12*, citing Louise’s “attention to rhythm and weight” as being “in tune with the nature that inspires her.”
One could definitely say Louise is on her way to becoming a big success, with Indy Week even labeling her as “one of the best guitarists in the business right now.” So it’s easy to imagine that when she’s not performing her music, a new record is in the works.
“Pretty much any ounce of my free time is still devoted to music. I’ve had to wear multiple hats, because I even have to handle the business side of things now.”
Sarah Louise’s sound—natural, somewhat minimalist, and yet still so abundant in the emotions it invokes and the movement it embodies—is hard to get enough of, and it would be easy to see why the public is still hungry for more.
April 6th at 9:45 p.m.
Trumpet Blossom Cafe, 310 E. Prentiss St.
$12 general admission in advance / $15 day of show