When Sarah Leete saw the call-out on Facebook late last year, asking artists to apply to play at Armidale’s music festival which was held on the weekend, she jumped at the chance.
Locally Made & Played aimed to promote live music, and encourage artists, such as Sarah, who has been travelling the New England Highway, playing gigs at places such as Tenterfield, Glen Innes and closer to Baan Baa, a small village near Narrabri, where she lives.
For Sarah, last weekend’s gigs where she played at Black Dot Music then at the New England Hotel, were a chance to play her original songs.
“It was just a great opportunity for me personally, because I’m a full-time musician, I already travel around and sing at pubs all the time, but it’s just such a hard thing to find venues that will take you for your original music,” she said.
“I am trying to transition at the moment from cover gigs to originals and I played at Black Dot Music and that was the best gig I’ve done in so long. It fills my cup, it really does.”
That intimate venue allowed the independent country artist to talk to the audience and tell the stories that had inspired her original songs.
“It was a beautiful, captive audience who can appreciate a story as well as a song, because songs are just stories with a melody, and it was just so refreshing. I have been doing this for so long - it’s only two years but it feels like forever - singing cover gig after cover gig to make money to do this, and it was such a change to be able to do this.”
Sarah released her debut self titled EP last November, and has already had one single release. Now she is saving the funds to release a second song to radio.
“I would hope that this kind of festival gets to continue, because I think it’s such a buzz, not just for the artists, but there were people walking the streets and they could just head into every little place and listen to some music.”
Sarah will be back in Armidale next month, to play at the Royal Hotel on May 11.
“It’s a cover gig, but I do sell CDs there and I sing my own stuff if the crowd permits,” she said.