All summer long we have the Twilight concerts at the Santa Monica pier, it’s a family affair, a picnic on the beach with music and the program offers some very eclectic artists, from old classics to edgy artists – I can’t wait for Ariel Pink! On Thursday night, Sarah Gayle Meech opened the show at sunset and brought a little country in our mixed-salad-and-wine-by-the-sea,… country and spice I should say, because this woman is some character, and saying that she has a strong stage presence would be an understatement.
The Nashville-based singer has a new album ‘Tennessee Love Song’ and if you were a bit disillusioned by what passes for country music these days as I am, she may reconcile you with country and western, as she sings her honky-tonk songs with a bright voice, a tough-as-nail attitude, and more conviction than most people can handle in a lifetime. Tattooed from neck to toe, or at least it looked that way, wearing a blue dress and white cowboy boots, she was looking at the crowd on the pier and was telling us the stories behind her songs with a twang in her voice… ‘At the Bar Again’ was a song she wrote when she was in California, a song about getting heartbroken and getting out of your fav prescription pills, a song about a trip to Tijuana gone wrong.
Surrounded by a band with people wearing cowboy hats and playing violin and an old-fashioned upright bass, she looked so confident and badass while singing her rootsy honky-tonky songs, that I have no difficulty to understand why she was named ‘Female Outlaw of the Year’ back in February, at Austin’s second annual Ameripolitan Awards, which promote and recognize music with prominent roots influence. At the beginning of this year, she even had a song and performance featured on the new season on the ABC series Nashville, so she is definitively on the road to stardom.
She cites influences all over the place, from Glenn Campbell to Carole King, Don Williams, Faces, Merle Haggard, Neko Case, Johnny Lee, Dawes, Aretha Franklin, Tammy Wynette, but she also said to us she loves Waylon Jennings, ‘I wrote a song for Waylon, ‘Somebody’s Gonna Cry’!’, a more upbeat tune than the title would let you think, with some nice vocal harmonies and Ray Charles’ keys vibe. Sarah is not a whining person, she rather would tell it how it is, rising her fist in the air, even staying positive when she sang the title track of her new album with lyrics like: ‘Tennessee I love you/Though you’re never ever gonna love me/ You’re just wasting your time / Running around with a young thing.’
And she reminded us that she wrote, released, and produced her album ‘because I am an independent artist’ she announced, with a don’t-mess-with-Texas attitude, although she is a Nashville girl! And in a few seconds, she gave us the essence of any good western country song, which is always about heartbreaks, taking too many pills, and cheating… ‘all the good things in life!’ she added. There is definitively no cry for Sarah, honky-tonk at heart, she takes no mess, as she sang in ‘No Mess’… ‘You gonna play hate me/You’re gonna get burned’ she claimed very loudly in the same song, and I have no doubt to believe her.
It’s the music, stupid
a restless and fearless freak show
Eminem and Calvin couldn’t move Bey
summer’s entertainment is rewarded
compares the end of a romance to the end of life
House pure and simple
lays down his claim to being a giant
Elvis Costello And The Imposters and Nick Lowe And Los Straightjackets At The Rooftop At Pier 17, Thursday, August 11th, 2022
embraces the moment with a big smile