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Saturday 12 July 2014 @ 09:00pm :  -
Sarah Jane Scouten


At age 5, Sarah Jane Scouten was sitting on the dining room table, singing “Lace and Pretty Flowers,” by Canadian folk and country musician, Willie P. Bennett. On Bowen Island BC, she picked up guitar at age 12, and soon was happy to forgo a Friday night house party for an all-night kitchen jam. Hank Williams and Stan Rogers were her greatest inspirations, both a staple at Sunday morning pancake breakfast and afterward, singing bluegrass and gospel music with her father. Her talent for performing came naturally, and as chance would have it, so emerged a knack for songwriting.

Sarah Jane pairs sturdy, infectious melodies with lyrics that are candid, poignant and flirtatious, having “a flair for tying emotions to arresting images.” (Penguin Eggs Magazine) She travels all over North America to festivals and workshops, gaining inspiration from contemporary and traditional folk musicians. Based in Montreal, Sarah Jane recorded and co-produced her first album, Magpie Waltz (Independent) in 2011, at Concordia University’s Loyola Chapel. Old-timey guitar, trilling mandolin, lavish bass and down-right bad-ass fiddle playing bring out the best in Scouten’s authentic sound. The all-string, all-acoustic record has flavours of Lucinda Williams, Old Crow Medicine Show, John Prine, and a wealth of bluegrass and old-time music, whose “narratives and arrangements make for an impressive genre LP” (Montreal Mirror).

Her songs are faithful to a long-standing folk music tradition, but often spill over into modern themes that are outspoken and edgy, from homelessness to midwifery to tongue-in-cheek heartache songs and unabashed Canadiana. Since the her first record’s release, Sarah Jane has toured Canada relentlessly, from the Yukon to Nova Scotia, wearing grooves into the highways and train passages of our country.



“I like her songs, each one has a great line or two that jump out and slap you in the face. She can do funny and she can do sad, there’s just something special in her stanzas that are better than most. Picture a feisty 12 year old Tom boy in a dress gripping a sling shot.” ~ C.R. Avery

“Sarah Jane Scouten is the real new deal. New songs that seem instantly familiar, written in the old time style. Beautiful delivery and phrasing, imaginative narratives, and excellent musicianship. Sarah Jane is not to be missed.” ~ Sheesham Crow, Sheesham and Lotus

“[Magpie Waltz] has thoughtful lyrics that will make you long for sweet romance, but not before cursing the pain that it caused you first.” ~ Angela Yen, Discorder Magazine

“Somewhat in the style of Nanci Griffith’s best music, Scouten’s songs are filled with sturdy melodies, and the performance – featuring everything from bluegrass picking to bar-band shuffle and burning-ballad intensity – was memorable.” ~ Bernie Perusse, Montreal Gazette

“Scouten has a flair for tying emotions to arresting images… She creates mood without resorting to theatrics. And she respects musical tradition. Even borrows from it. Liberally. But she’s always her own woman.” ~ Patrick Langston, Penguin Eggs Magazine