New Artist Spotlight: Sarah Buxton
By Kristen Scherer

© 2007 CMA Close Up News Service / Country Music Association, Inc.

With a playful attitude and an irresistible rasp in her voice, Sarah Buxton has a distinct sound. Lyrically, the singer-songwriter is dedicated to painting a picture of her own life. Growing up in Lawrence, Kan., playing piano and flute and writing music was dominating Buxton's free time. At age 12, she got involved with the Lawrence Children's Choir and quickly realized she was a part of "something that was truly beautiful." Later, during her junior year in high school she sang solo for the first time at the school's talent show and here she knew she'd found her true calling.

"I stood backstage with that cordless mic, listening to the crowd," Buxton said. "I thought, 'I love this, and why am I not nervous?'"

Growing up, she was seduced by the sounds of Faith Hill, Patty Loveless and George Strait, but it was Stevie Nicks who captured her heart and inspired her to begin crafting lyrics. After graduating and actually meeting Nicks, she became more determined to make the move to Music City and chase her dreams.

Buxton enrolled at Nashville's Belmont University and quickly formed a jam band, the regionally popular Stoik Oak. The band spent three years recording and touring before calling it quits. Buxton's music took a back seat when she met and fell in love with a local guitarist. They were married and moved to a rural cabin close the Cumberland River. After a lot of housekeeping and some serious soul searching, Buxton came to realize she was unhappy in the marriage and made the move back to Music City, set up in a small apartment and began to pursue her dream in earnest.

She met with friend John Rich of Big & Rich, who encouraged her and told her she could do anything she wanted to do if she put her mind to it. Buxton signed with a song publisher and was soon co-writing with some of Nashville's top tunesmiths, who spread the word about the feisty newcomer with the amazing voice.

One of those co-writers, Craig Wiseman ("Believe," "Live Like You Were Dying," "The Good Stuff") co-produced her self-titled Lyric Street Records debut album along with veteran producer Dann Huff (Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban). Buxton co-wrote 10 of the album's 11 songs, including the leadoff single, "Innocence," written with Dave Berg, Georgia Middleman and Jeremy Stover.

"These songs are the pictures in my head," Buxton said. "They are my own feelings and memories and they ring true for me today as they probably would have if I had heard them when I was 8 years old."


Who is your musical hero?
"Peter Gabriel. I love his sound but it's really about his authenticity as a performer."

Which song would you secretly like to cover?
"I'd love to add Steely Dan's 'Fire in the Hole' when I start touring with a full band later this year. It's got the best steel solo I've ever heard."

What CD is on your stereo?
"I've really been into Steely Dan lately. I've been listening to the whole catalog, starting with their last release and working my way up to the first. Right now I'm listening to Can't Buy a Thrill."

What book is on your nightstand?
"The Devil and Mrs. Primm by Paul Coehlo."

Who is your dream duet partner?
"Lowell George of Little Feat, may he rest in peace. He's probably got one of the sexiest and most soulful voices ever."

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February 6, 2007
© Kristin Barlowe