Ring in the New Year with Sarah Smithsarahsmithmusic.com
Sarah Smith: she’s home and she is better than ever. Sharing her greatest hits, Sarah rejoins the Phoenix Sessions (Sarah was the premier APS in September 2020) on the Aeolian Stage and rings in 2022 with the promise of something better and brighter for the new year. From Angels and Anchors to Shine Bright THIS is the night you’ve been waiting for.
There are few artists who exude the depth of passion, spirit and talent as London, Ontario’s Sarah Smith does on a stage or in a recording studio. Music is more than a vocation for Smith: it is her calling. The combination of her extraordinary personal magnetism, breathtakingly emotive voice and empowering music has created an impressive following of devoted fans and true buzz on the Canadian independent music scene.
Smith lives music, loves music – it imbues every fibre of her being and the result of this all-encompassing devotion to her craft is a catalogue of compelling songs that are deeply personal and revelatory, and mesmerizing in their soul-bearing sincerity – especially in a live setting.
“I am just so blessed. I can’t believe how much I have filled my life with music. Although I have been trying to slow down a bit, I just have this incredible urge to play music. I really love it. Even when I am off the road,
something else comes along, like a recording session or I am writing with someone else, or working on a music video. I am always busy with music and I love every second of it,” Smith said.
A working musician her entire adult life, after paying her dues in a number of different bands Smith came to prominence as the frontwoman and primary songwriter for the popular rock act The Joys – a staple on the Canadian club and festival scene beginning in 2005.
The Joys had songs that charted nationally on Canadian college radio, and won Best Rock Act at the Jack Richardson Music Awards two years in a row. The music of The Joys has also been licensed to everything from Sony Playstation to Teletoon, OUT TV and Chris & John’s Road Trip. And sales of more than 15,000 albums, primarily off the stage, landed them opening slots for the likes of The Trews, Sloan, Thornley, Big Sugar, Sam Roberts, Kim Mitchell, Robert Plant and Finger Eleven among others.
Seeking a more solitary and introspective creative outlet, Smith boldly stepped out as a solo artist in 2012 and has released three critically-acclaimed CDs, 2012s Stronger Now, 2014s The Journey, and an artistic
masterpeice, 11, which was released in 2016. Also on the list of releases for 2018 were a LIVE CD as well as a Christmas CD titled A Christmas Wish. She also released a live DVD in 2015 and has built a substantial and ever-growing audience through more than 250 live performances a year – including becoming an in-demand artist throughout portions of Central Europe.
“I just played a few shows over there and one good show leads to another and the next thing you know there are agents and club owners and even fans calling you trying to get you to play in their town. I think people see that I am legitimate, that I am very passionate about what I do and that the songs and my emotional performance of those songs really connects with people – no matter what language they speak. The fans in places like Germany and Luxembourg and the Netherlands have been so amazing to me,” she said, adding that she continues to work hard at spreading her fan base throughout the rest of Europe and into the U.K.
Her albums feature songs that are emblematic of Smith’s remarkable ability to mine the depths of her heart and soul to create music that is profoundly moving, inspiring and instantly memorable. Songs from it were compelling enough to draw interest from Los Angeles film director Marina Rice Bader, who featured Smith’s music in her compelling film Anatomy of A Love Seen. The CBC series Cracked also featured some of Sarah’s songs.
“I am the worst songwriter because I just write about me and my feelings, my experiences, my emotions and my relationships. I write about my battle with drugs, my newfound inner spirituality and my pain. So it’s kind of like
therapy,” she said. “The song Stars is about wanting to hit the road with someone you love and getting lost together – kind of like Thelma and Louise.
Into The Light is about the deconstruction of an old relationship and rebuilding it back up into something new and better. Then there’s a song like Empty Void, which is literally about an empty spiritual void that I have tried
to fill inside me. It’s a plea to my partner to just hang tight while I go off and try to find something to fill that void; that I will be back and when I do come back, I will know so much more about myself.”
Although Smith has only been a solo artist for a few years, her lifetime as a touring musician, the rigours of the road, a roller-coaster ride of a personal life, battles with demons, defeats and disappointments has shaped her into the strong, self-assured artist that she is today. A fixture on the southern Ontario music scene, Smith has been repeatedly rewarded for her skill, talent and prowess as a songwriter and performer.
She has been named Best Singer Songwriter at both the London Music Awards and Jack Richardson Music Awards on numerous occasions, as well as Best Rock Artist and Fan Favourite. She was also named the Best Adult
Contemporary Artist at the Toronto Independent Music Awards in 2015. As a solo performer, Smith has shared the stage with the likes of Emm Gryner, The Tea Party, Bif Naked and more. She is also fiercely independent,
running all aspects of her business operation as well as the creative side. And while she is admittedly not comfortable as a music business schmoozer, she is adept at making the connections she feels are most important – with music fans.
Growing up in a deeply religious home, Smith’s earliest musical education came from child-oriented hymn books and spiritual songs. In high school she heard Alanis Morissette’s explosive and ground-breaking Jagged Little Pill album and, after acquiring her first guitar, a torrent of music began to flow out from her.
“I joined the Columbia House CD club and I remember some of the first CDs I got were by Bryan Adams, The Cars, Chicago’s Greatest Hits, Extreme’s Pornograffitti, Celine Dion … I was just trying to catch up. Then when I was 18 I went to New Zealand on what was supposed to be a school exchange, but I never went to school. I just played music and travelled around. While there I got into the music that was on the radio, including Crowded House,” she explained.
“I also went through this whole phase where I developed addictions and habits with alcohol and drugs – just living what I thought was the rock and roll lifestyle. I guess I was angry and rebellious, but I guess I survived and outgrew all that and am now channeling that energy, frustration and emotion into music. I guess music is my new addiction.”
And it is an addiction that Smith continues to share from coast to coast in Canada as well as with her burgeoning fan base in Europe. As a solo artist, in a duo or full band configuration, Smith commands the attention of concert
goers with her riveting personal charm, her infectious energy, her compelling songs, and a voice that never wavers in its emotional honesty, it’s power and its darkly sweet elegance.
It is an experience not to be missed.
Aeolian Phoenix Sessionsaeolianhall.ca/phoenix
The Aeolian Phoenix Sessions take centre stage… in the comfort of your own home. Every month we premier at least four productions recorded at Aeolian’s studios or in the artist’s home.
The Aeolian Phoenix Sessions are intended to provide patrons with a cross-section of the music going experience. From classical to jazz, rock to country, and bluegrass to folk, the Sessions aim to bring music back into your home and heart.
This month… featuring:
- Riseup TV
- CM Justice/colton moore
- john d. Huston’s a christmas carol
- new year’s eve with sarah smith
Interested in one show only? Trust us: you’ll like what you see. Try the Phoenix Sessions all month and experience a few productions that you might never have seen in person.
Our goal was to reignite live music and get artists on stage, technicians behind the soundboard and our patrons on their feet listening to extraordinary talent in extraordinary times.
Terms and Conditions
Membership to the Phoenix Sessions is $20 per month (automatically recurring) and you select the productions you wish to enjoy.
Though membership renews automatically, patrons must validate their membership number every month to receive an access code for each new set of productions by email. This process is not automatic. Patrons will receive their first access code immediately upon registration. An access code is only good for one calendar month. Validation instructions are contained in the Membership tab on this page, in our weekly newsletter and in the monthly rollover announcement sent by the Aeolian Box Office.
We do not have a multi-viewer pass. If you plan to safely watch with friends or family, please consider donating to further offset the costs associated with these productions.
Tickets to individual productions are not available.
If you do not intend to subscribe for longer than one month, refunds will not be provided to patrons who forget to cancel their membership or who have not read the terms and conditions: membership renewal is automatic every 30 days. This information is noted on every ticketing page, on event pages and marketing, on event posters and in our weekly newsletter. It is important to read information carefully before joining so as to not misunderstand how membership works.
Upon registration and after monthly validation, you will receive a confirmation email including a link that you will use each time you wish to view a performance. Save that link… or follow instructions at www.aeolianhall.ca/phoenix to receive it again.
Shows will be available on the date and time specified on Aeolian’s website.
PRODUCTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR A MAXIMUM OF TWO WEEKS AFTER PREMIER. IF YOU ARE PURCHASING MORE THAN 30 DAYS BEFORE THE MONTH BEGINS, YOU WILL BE BILLED EVERY 30 DAYS AS A RECURRING MEMBER. IF YOU ARE SPECIFICALLY INTERESTED IN AN INDIVIDUAL MONTH, PLEASE PURCHASE YOUR PASS ON FIRST OF THE MONTH.
Payment is final. No refunds will be offered.