About The Artist
The Set List
-The Crew at Wal-Mart Soundcheck
On 'Little Voice':
Let's make one thing clear: Sara Bareilles has a beautiful voice that can hardly be described as 'little.' We asked the self-taught pianist about the conflicting title behind her first big label effort: "'Little Voice' became sort of my mantra over the period of time when we were recording the record. When I first got into the studio, I was relatively new at this, so I felt like I got lost in the shuffle immediately. 'Little Voice' became kind of the thing I would say to myself to remind me to listen to myself - to articulate that and communicate that and stand up for my musical idea."
On the Power of Songwriting:
Bareilles has credited songwriting as a 'sacred' life force. We asked her about the origins of writing songs that dig deep: "It has to do with some of the solitude that I experienced growing up. I spent a lot of time alone in the forest because I loved being there. I would think up little songs and rhymes and sing to nobody. I think the songwriting has somehow been associated with that solitude and that creativity all in one. It's very special to me."
On Rock 'n' Roll & Redwoods:
"I'm from Eureka, California, which is a small town on the coast of California about five hours north of San Francisco. It's kind of a logging, fishing community; pretty small town in the sense that if you don't know somebody, you probably know somebody who knows that person. It was a great place to grow up. I spent a lot of time outdoors, and it's a very artistic community as well. I did community theater and felt very supported in that way."
- She's a California girl. Sara Beth Bareilles was born December 7, 1979 in Eureka, California.
- She was voted 'Most Talented' in high school. Bareilles attended UCLA and was a member of the college's a cappella group 'Awaken.'
- She's opened shows for some big names, including Mika, Maroon 5, Aqualung and Rocco DeLuca. She's scheduled to go on tour next with British singer James Blunt.
- She began singing in bars. Upon her UCLA graduation, Sara hit up L.A. drinking spots and night clubs and amassed a healthy following of fans. The exposure led to a recording contract.
- She's a big fan of Ani DiFranco, Elton John, Ben Folds Five, Bob Marley and Björk
- She wrote every song on her first album, 'Careful Confessions,' co-writing just one ('Love on the Rocks') with band member and friend Javier Dunn.
She's not going to write you a love song, but Bareilles kicks off our Soundcheck with the smash hit first single from the terrific album, 'Little Voice.' Ultimately, the clever lyricism and messaging behind 'Love Song' (written by Bareilles) transcend a traditional spurned lover's tale. With understated strength and insight to a relationship on the rocks, Bareilles delivers an affecting performance: "You made room for me but it's too soon to see / If I'm happy in your hands."
Bottle It Up
Sara returns to the Steinway along with band members Javier Dunn (guitar) and Josh Day (percussion, cajón) for the second selection from 'Little Voice.' 'Bottle It Up' showcases Sara's stellar songwriting and - like 'Love Song' - it's a beautiful, introspective tale about difficult love: "Started as a flicker meant to be a flame / Skin has gotten thicker but it burns the same."
Many the Miles
One of the more upbeat tracks from 'Little Voice,' 'Many the Miles' is a funky, finger-snapping, bluesy number that Bareilles tells us has personal significance. Explains the artist: "'Many the Miles' is a really fun song for me to play live. It's a three-part vocal harmony and it's got kind of a lilting cadence to it, so it's very easy to dance to it. Well, in my head! It's easy to dance to and move to and I love playing that song live."
Many ballads on 'Little Voice' travel to darker terrain than your typical Top 40 fare. 'Morningside' is a signature Bareilles number that explores the intricacies of a grueling relationship. On her MySpace page, the artist says that 'Little Voice' chronicles her life, her relationships, her 'basket-case-ness' and a desire to be honest. 'Morningside' is a classic example of that vision; it's despairing, affecting and gut-wrenchingly real: "I could try to forget what you do / When I let you get through to me / But then you do it over again."
Bareilles closes our set with the closing track from 'Little Voice' - 'Gravity.' A gorgeous, lilting song about the ups and downs of a relationship, 'Gravity' is a highlight of our Soundcheck set - and Bareilles delivers a raw rendition that hits a breathtaking vocal crescendo: "Here I am and I stand so tall / Just the way I'm supposed to be / But you're on to me and all over me."