She was born in Port Chester, NY and studied drama and ballet, before switching to music. She has released seven albums, as of April 2006, on her own label, MPress Records, and regularly tours both North America and Europe.
East Village songstress, poet and multi-media maven Rachael Sage has been making gutsy pop music in one form or another since she was three years old. Her latest offering of “lovely and literate folk-pop-rock” (The Village Voice), THE BLISTERING SUN, is devoted to the topics of vision, clarity, and facing life head on.
A self-taught pianist who honed her skills listening to her parents’ doo-wop, Broadway and Beatles album collections, Rachael debuted her first original material for a captive audience of kindergarten students one fateful afternoon before their ballet teacher arrived and broke up the party. “When I started,” she says, “ I was writing a lot of music that sounded like Elton John - if he’d been a nice Jewish girl from a long line of Russian cantors.” By junior high school, Sage’s dancing abilities had landed her a spot at the prestigious School of American Ballet; but it was really the music she was hearing – in and out of class – that intrigued her the most.
As a teenager, Sage recorded hundreds of demos in the basement on a four-track (her Bat Mitzvah present), arriving at a provocative lyrical and vocal style recently described by Judy Collins as, “a great gift . . . of incredible talent and beauty.” After earning a degree in Drama from Stanford University, Rachael returned to New York and founded MPress Records. She wrote, produced, and designed artwork for a swift succession of releases, including “Smashing The Serene” and “Painting of a Painting”.
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In the late ‘90’s she attended the Actors Studio MFA program, working as a jingle-singer and composing music for a steady string of national commercials, before landing a coveted slot at Lilith Fair by entering their New York Talent Search. “Meeting Sarah McLachlan and so many other inspiring artists was a big turning point for me, and I realized I needed to get out of NY, ditch my six-piece band and hit the road if I really wanted to develop as a performer.” She started booking her own tours, playing over 150 dates a year throughout the U.S and Europe and earning a sizable fan base along the way.
During the release of her first few albums, advice and support from the likes of Suzanne Vega, Ani DiFranco and Eric Burdon (The Animals) encouraged Sage to stick to her musical roots and “just keep doing what I loved and not think a whole lot about what was going on in the music industry.” As a songwriter, she was energized by the sensibilities of Elvis Costello, Patti Smith and Laura Nyro; as a visual artist (Sage also paints, decorates instruments and designs much of her vibrant stage-wear), pop-art pioneers Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring were ongoing visual muses.
After receiving the 2005 Independent Music Award for Best Folk/AAA artist and the 2005 OutMusic Award for Best Songwriter for her previous CD BALLADS & BURLESQUE, Sage headed back into the studio and emerged with her newest full-length work, THE BLISTERING SUN.
- 2005 Independent Music Award (Folk)
- 2005 Outmusic Award (Outstanding Songwriter)
- 2005 International Acoustic Music Award
- 2005 Featured MIDEM Artist (Sonicbids-sponsored Indie Showcase)
- 2005 Finalist, VH-1 Song Of The Year for "Surprise" (Gospel category)
- 2004 First Prize, CSN Producers Project
- 2003 Finalist, Newport Folk Fest New Artist Search
- 2002 Billboard Songwriting Contest (R&B)
- 2001 Grand Prize, John Lennon Songwriting Contest (Rock)
- 2001 First Prize, Great American Songwriting Contest (Acoustic)
- 1999 NY Lilith Fair Talent Search Winner/Performer
Notable Festivals/Conference Appearances, 2005-2006:
- CMJ Music Marathon, 2006 (official showcasing artist & panelist)
- Apple Store SOHO CMJ Week In-Store Performance, 2006
- NEMO, 2006 (official showcasing artist)
- Wildflower Records SXSW Showcase, 2006
- Spring NAMM, 2006 (John Lennon Songwriting Contest Showcase)
- M.E.A.N.Y.Fest, 2006 (official showcasing artist)
- MIDEM Independent Music Showcase 2005 (sponsored by Sonicbids)
- Wildflower Festival, 2005 (with Judy Collins & Joan Osborne)
- South Park Music Festival, 2005 (official showcasing artist)
Discography[edit | edit source]
- Morbid Romantic (1995)
- Smashing the Serene (1998)
- Painting of a Painting (2001)
- Illusion's Carnival (2002)
- Public Record (2003)
- Ballads and Burlesque (2004)
- "The Blistering Sun" (2006)
[edit | edit source]
- Rachael Sage Official Site
- Rachael Sage's EPK
- "Not a Closet Cinderella" by Sheela Lambert BiMagazine (2006)
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