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MP3 Sarah Cleaver - From Where I Stand

With an aggressive guitar style matched with a powerful voice, she delivers thoughtful lyrics that inspire and move you to think.

9 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Country Folk, ROCK: Acoustic

Sarah Cleaver was the lone girl with a guitar, playing to audiences of mostly older men, who blurted out "king me" during her performances at coffee houses.

Okay, so older, checker playing men wasn''t exactly her target audience, but as a 14 year old girl living in Allentown, Pa., you have to take what you can get. And that meant playing Pete Seeger and Joan Baez covers to a crowd of checker addicts.

Since then, Sarah has graduated from the Pete Seeger covers and moved onto crafting her own songs and musical style(Although no one can say for sure that there aren''t closet checker players still in her audiences). Drawing from inspirations such as Patty Griffin, Billy Pilgrim, R.E.M., and Melissa Ferrick, Sarah has created an acoustic folk song with a few shots of rock ''n roll and country. With an aggressive guitar style matched with a powerful voice, Sarah delivers thoughtful lyrics that inspire and move you to think.

Raised by parents who are peace activists, Sarah uses her music as a platform to promote social and political change. By incorporating the personal in the political, her music carries powerful messages but without being preachy. Although music is her main form of activism, it''s not the only focus of her songwriting. Her themes range from the various levels of relationships to the struggle of figuring out your purpose and the fight for understanding.

Although Sarah''s earliest interest in playing music came from her encounter with a couple of accordion playing aliens at age 5, her main inspiration came from
the grunge era of Nirvana and Pearl Jam that she grew up in and the boys at school, who taught her how to play electric guitar.

After seeing her first Indigo Girls concert, she shed some of her grunge and fell in love with the acoustic intensity of folk. By 9th grade, she started performing covers and her own music at coffee houses in her native Allentown even if that meant lying to her parents about where she was. Every Monday night, Sarah''s sister would pretend to drop her off at her Bible study class and instead take her to open mics.

During her late teens, her songwriting took on more sophistication and maturity as she tackled the heavy topics of homelessness, teen suicide, drug addiction, and anorexia. She quickly learned that her words had this power of making people pay attention. It was then that she realized that she had the ability to use her voice in order to lift other voices.

With her unique quirkiness and interesting life experiences, Sarah engages audiences with the spirit of her performances, bursting with fiery lyrics and personal angst. She''s not just another girl with a guitar, but a woman with intelligent words to share and a perspective on life that''s thoughtful and compassionate.

Sarah has performed in various parts of the country and the world including India, Thailand, the Philippines, North Carolina, Colorado, Michigan, Philadelphia, Allentown, Pa., Boston, Atlanta, and New York. For the last year, she''s been rooted in Lansing, Michigan growing her armpit hair, planting gardens, and recording her debut album.

After many long hours of practicing, recording, and perfecting in Jason Lantrip''s basement in Lansing, Sarah has completed her debut album, "From Where I Stand"(October 2003). The album is available through the indie loving folks at CD Baby(https://www.tradebit.com) and the inspiring, hardworkin'' ladies at Goldenrod (https://www.tradebit.com). Without them, our CDs would be sitting on a lonely shelf somewhere or in a dark storage closet collecting dust and dreaming of the days when someone will rescue them from their dark pits and spin them for hours in their stereo.


1980- Sarah "The Cleave" Cleaver born in Allentown, Pa.
1983- Parents make her take up violin
1985- First abduction by aliens who play the accordion and lend musical inspiration
1990- Starts growing armpit hair and quits gymnastics after teacher tells her to shave
1992- Threatens to throw violin out the window
Parents sell violin
1993- Starts dressing in black and hanging out with "the boys"
Gets an electric guitar
Smokes cigarettes in the school parking lot
Sees first Indigo Girls concert. Decides to learn every song to impress a
1995- Gets acoustic guitar
Forced by parents to take up an extracurricular activity
Joins basketball team. Runs in wrong direction on the court. Quits basketball team
Writes first song about a former student''s suicide in sixth grade
Wins junior high talent competition
1996- Starts playing gigs at coffee houses
Family members bring video cameras
1997- Incorporates activism in songwriting
1998- Moves to Greensboro, North Carolina
2000- Voyage to India
Invites Dali Llama to her performance. He stays home with 6,000 refugees instead
2001- Tries to ride a cow in India
2002- Moves to Lansing, Michigan
Works for feminist retreat center
Grows armpit hair
Eats too much cheese
2003- Adds drummer, guitarist, accordion player, mandolin player, Alex Wilson
Records debut album, "From Where I Stand"
Discovers that she clenches her butt when she''s nervous

Intimate, moving, and thoughtfully crafted, Sarah Cleaver''s "From Where I Stand" incorporates acoustic folk with a few shots of rock ''n roll and country. Her debut album explores the various realms of relationships, the struggle to figure out purpose, and the human fight for understanding. A uniquely beautiful voice matched by powerful lyrics, Sarah delivers a refreshing sound filled with personal angst, truth, and compassion. She''s not just another girl with a guitar.

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