Singer-songwriter Sarah McQuaid will be kicking off a three-month, 59-show USA and UK tour with high-profile hometown shows in both West Cornwall (including Truro and Upton Cross), England, where she’s lived since 2007, and Chicago, where she spent most of her childhood.

Sarah and her longtime manager Martin Stansbury (who also runs Cacophony Cottage, a Cornwall-based business offering music production and artist consultancy services) headed down to Texas, back up through the midwest, southeast to North Carolina, on to Florida and finally up the east coast to New England where the US leg of the tour finished back in late October.

Following this, Sarah headed back to Cornwall for a week of recuperation before her four-week UK tour in November and early December.

Born in Spain (to a Spanish father and American mother), Sarah grew up in the USA, lived in Ireland for many years and moved in 2007 to Cornwall, where she swiftly struck up a friendship with a fellow mum outside the gates of their children’s school. That fellow mum turned out to be Zoë Pollock, writer and performer of 1991 UK Top 5 single “Sunshine On A Rainy Day.”

The pair soon found themselves co-writing songs for an album released in 2008 under the band name Mama, lauded by MOJO’s Colin Irwin as “a pleasingly maverick mix” and by The Irish Times as “Janis Joplin’s freewheeling spirit crossed with Joni Mitchell’s lyrical density.”

“I owe Zoë a massive debt of gratitude for getting me into songwriting in a serious way,” says Sarah.

“Prior to that I’d thought of myself basically as a folksinger who happened to write an occasional song, but through working with Zoë I not only learned a hell of a lot about the craft of songwriting, but also just the fact of someone of her calibre wanting to co-write with me was what finally gave me the confidence to start focusing on my own original material.

“And of course, if it weren’t for Zoë I’d never have met Martin” – the above-mentioned Martin Stansbury, a longtime collaborator and former bandmate of Zoë’s who produced and engineered the Mama album, then became Sarah’s manager and sound engineer, accompanying her on all her tours worldwide since 2009.

Most recently, Martin produced and engineered Sarah’s sixth solo album, The St Buryan Sessions, recorded live in lockdown in the beautiful medieval church of St Buryan, just over a mile from Sarah’s home.

Released in October 2021 on CD and limited-edition double LP, the album made it onto “Best of 2021” lists on three continents and features stunning solo performances by Sarah on acoustic and electric guitars, piano and floor tom drum, her lush, distinctive vocals echoing through the soaring space.

Sarah will be performing at; Upton Cross (Liskeard) Sterts Studio on December 1 and Truro Burrell Theatre on December 2.