Sarah Jarosz tells Apple Music about her latest album 'Blue Heron Suite'

Article Contributed by Apple | Published on Sunday, June 6, 2021

Sarah Jarosz joins Southern Craft Radio with Joy Williams on Apple Music Country to talk about her Texas Roots, songwriting, her goals for the next decade as she turns 30, and her latest album Blue Heron Suite. Tune in and listen to full episode today (June 6) at 12pm PT / 2pm CT / 3pm ET or anytime on-demand at apple.co/_SouthernCraft

Sarah Jarosz on the first venue that was special to her

“The first venue that was really special to me that I remember going to as a kid was the Cactus Cafe in Austin, which is on the University of Texas campus. When I first going as a little-little kid, I remember my parents... they both went to UT to college. And so that's where they met. And that venue, actually, my mom used to do open mic nights at the Cactus Cafe when she was in college, which is super cool. They told me that they had this group. My parents' names are Gary and Mary, which is very adorable. They had a friend named Todd who was really into music as well. And so they would do open mics as Gary, Mary and Todd, like instead of Peter Paul and Mary. So as a little kid, it was a lot of them telling me those stories of the Cactus Cafe. And then they started taking me there. The first person I remember seeing, I think, was Bill Staines, great singer-songwriter. And even still, when I hear Bill Staines songs now, I get this deeply nostalgic feeling. Because it's that thing where when you hear music as a kid but you're not directly engaged with it and you're almost passively engaged. I was so young. I was falling asleep at the venues because it was way past my bedtime. But it was still infiltrating. And so it's really... I love that. I love having that circular experience with music and songs where you come back to it later in life.”

Sarah Jarosz recalls her music teacher, Diana

“I was so fortunate that the school that I went to from age two through eighth grade, this incredible music teacher, Diana, just happened to... It's definitely one of those... It was just luck that she happened to be such an incredible teacher. And she got me really involved with their... Well, she taught through the Kodaly method, which is basically Zoltan Kodaly is a Hungarian composer. And he developed the Kodaly method, which basically believes all children should be able to have a music education, and that it's really important for brain development. And it's all based around solfege with do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-si... All these hand signals. And this is in my tiny town of Wimberley. The fact that she was just such an incredible teacher really, really helped with my development musically early on.”

Sarah Jarosz on the first song she wrote about her childhood dog

“My first memory is of writing an instrumental, because I hadn't really written any music until I got the mandolin when I was 10, or nine, almost 10. And I remember my dog, my childhood dog's name was Marley. And I wrote an instrumental called 'Marley's Blue Chair' because we had this big blue chair in our house and she would always just snuggle up on it. So, I think that was the first piece of music that I wrote.

Sarah Jarosz on being more open to collaborations as a goal for the next decade as she turns 30

“Something I'm really excited for in the next decade is more collaborations with people. I think one aspect, I've been thinking about this a lot, one aspect about having started so young is I was almost very territorial of my music and my songs, especially as a teen and in my early twenties, because you're trying to make your sound, I was trying to find who I was and who I was through my songs. And now that I feel like I kind of know who that is, I feel less territorial and more open to just joining the band with Aoife O'Donovan and Sara Watkins and having that collaboration, which has totally enriched my whole world musically, and getting to play with Chris Thile on 'Live from Here,' and just different things like that. I think that would also be a hope for the next decade, is just making more music with others and being open to that.”

Sarah Jarosz on Blue Heron Suite being the first album she writes about her home

“It's interesting because so 'Blue Heron Suite' was written before 'World on the Ground' was written or even was a thought in my mind at all. And even before I knew that I was going to work with John Leventhal and it's funny, because I did so many interviews this last year for 'World on the Ground,' because it came out almost a year ago and a lot of what I was saying was, 'Oh, this is the first time I've written about where I'm from. This is the first time I've written about Texas and my home and all of the feelings associated with that.' But really 'Blue Heron Suite' was the first time doing that. And in many ways, even though they're coming out in opposite order of how they were written, 'Blue Heron Suite' was the thing that set me off on my path of thinking back to... Having lived enough years away from home to be able to write about it, I guess. And some people are amazing being able to write about something as it's happening, but I've always needed the time to step away and process.”

Topics