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Sarah Shook & the Disarmers with Mightmare

January 19, 2023

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North Carolina’s Sarah Shook sings with a conviction and hard honesty sorely lacking in much of today’s Americana landscape. Always passionate, at times profane, Sarah stalks/walks the line between vulnerable and menacing, their voice strong and uneasy, country classic but with contemporary, earthy tension. You can hear in their voice what they've seen; world weary, lessons learned—or not—but always defiant. They level-steady mean what they say. Writing with a blunt urgency—so refreshing these days it's almost startling—Sarah's lyrics are in turn smart, funny, mean, and above all, uncompromising. The Disarmers hit all the sweet spots from Nashville’s Lower Broad to Bakersfield and take Sarah's unflinching tales out for some late-night kicks. At times, it’s as simple and muscular as Luther Perkins’ boom-chicka-boom, or as downtown as Johnny Thunders. The Disarmers keep in the pocket, tight and tough. The Disarmers line-up is currently Jack Foster on drums, Blake Tallent on guitar, Andrew Lambie on bass, and Nick Larimore on pedal steel.

Sarah Shook’s new solo project, Mightmare, finds a way to roll the sounds we couldn’t live without into a response to the things we couldn’t live with, confronting their habits and the rules they live by in the process. Loved for their work in Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Shook’s Cruel Liars brings crispy clean, country twanged vocals to the table alongside the furiously urgent need to express themselves. The record marks the process of finding meaning in spaces outside of gender or drinking or protocol, and slingshots itself towards something both conceptually remarkable and a simply exhilarating, embodied knockout.