Local Music

Published on March 19th, 2018 | by Brittain Thompson


Alt-Country Outfit Sarah Shook & The Disarmers Hitting Proud Larrys

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers is an alternative country band based out of North Carolina. The group released their label debut, Sidelong, through Bloodshot Records and will release their sophomore effort, Years, on April 6, 2018.

What you get out of a live show from Sarah Shook & The Disarmers is rooted in that classic, outlaw country sound. On the surface that seems par for the course from a North Carolina songwriter, but her influences have a wide range due to how she absorbed music growing up homeschooled.

“I wasn’t allowed to listen to any music growing up other than religious, worship music,” said Shook. “I didn’t start listening to anything contemporary until I was about seventeen. There are still songs that come on the radio that I apparently should know about and my friends can’t believe that I don’t.”

The upcoming release was written in Shook’s downtime over the course of their touring. Shook would come up with the bare bones then work with the band to flesh the idea out into a full song.

“Some of these songs are older and we’ve been playing them out on tour for a while now,” said Shook. “That’s always cool because. . .they develop with time and more ideas will pop into our heads. It’s like this constantly evolving thing and when we get to the studio we have a much better idea of the tiny details that seem insignificant but really make the song.”

Shook took a unique approach to writing Years. While the source material is rooted in her last relationship, she chose to take a risk and write it from the perspective of her ex-partner.

“The basic premise for Years is that it’s a break up album, that I wrote while I was still in the relationship with my ex-partner, that is largely from my partner’s point of view,” said Shook. “Writing an album from someone’s point of view who has been making you miserable for a long time is completely new territory for me. I think it’s honest and something I can be proud to stick my name.”

Given the strong country sound and aesthetic of the band you might not expect Shook to also be a civil rights activist, atheist, bi-sexual, and vegan as she stated in a spotlight with Rolling Stone. The songwriter was initially hesitant to acknowledge her personal beliefs due to their polarity with the stereotypes that follows country music.

“I just do my thing and be myself,” said Shook. “When that quote came out in Rolling Stone there was certainly part of me that expected some blowback from that. I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t any. At the end of the day our message is inclusive and our music is for anyone that likes it.”

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers will play at Proud Larry’s on March 22 with Rod Melancon. Get tickets here or at the door the night of the show. The Local Voice Ligature

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About the Author

Brittain is an associate editor of The Local Voice, ex-journalism student, and bad noise maker from the highway town of Brandon, MS.

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