Five Firsts: Sarah McQuaid

Sarah McQuaid
Sarah McQuaid

NAME: Sarah McQuaid
INSTRUMENT: Guitar, Vocals

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … the Sugarhill Gang album with “Rapper’s Delight” on it. I’ve still got it. On vinyl, no less! I think I was about 10 years old when I bought it.

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … I have a hazy memory of being taken by my grandmother to a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert when I was very small, maybe six or seven years old.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … The piano. I was three years old when my mother started teaching me to play the piano.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … Can’t remember what the first song would have been, but I started performing with the Chicago Children’s Choir when I was seven or eight years old. The first time I performed in public on my own with guitar was at a school assembly when I was 14 or 15 years old. It was a song I wrote but I can’t remember the title. Probably best lost to the mists of time.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … a very interesting jazz-rock fusion band called the Rhinos, when I was a teenager in Washington, DC. I played a Fender Rhodes keyboard that belonged to the guitarist. It was great fun, but I didn’t last long in the band as my mother decided she didn’t like my going off to rehearse with a bunch of men who were all at least 10 years older than me. I can’t blame her, really!

It’s hard to pin down the globe-trotting singer-songwriter Sarah McQuaid. She was born in Spain, raised in Chicago, holds dual US and Irish citizenship, and now lives in rural England. On Friday night (October 18), however, you can find her at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, showcasing selections from her superb recently released third solo album, “The Plum Tree and the Rose.” Showtime is 8pm, and tickets are $18 in advance; $20 at the door; $16 members; $9 students and children.

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