Award-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachael Sage will be joining iconic synth-pop pioneer and hitmaker Howard Jones on the U.K. leg of his 2017 Spring Tour. Sage has often named Jones as one of her most beloved artists and a seminal influence on her songwriting, and while she has rarely covered other artists’ music, she used to perform his songs including “No One Is To Blame” at her regular solo piano gig while attending Stanford University.
“I’ve been touring for many years and enjoyed every minute of my eclectic, adventurous indie career so far”, enthuses Sage. “But when the phone rang a few days ago and I was told I would be supporting Howard Jones, it was quite literally a dream come true. It will be a huge honor to share the stage with one of my all-time favorite artists, and I can’t wait to meet him in person!” Having released twelve albums of original material since founding her own label MPress Records, she originally identified with Jones’ music as a teenager because, as she puts it, “He came from a classical place at the piano and so did I. He played synthesizer and so did I. But mainly it was because his lyrics just seemed so incredibly honest and compassionate. And vocally, it felt like he was singing just to you.”
Though based in New York City, Rachael has recently been spending more time in England, where she’s developed a strong fan-base by performing at events such as the Cornbury Music Festival, London Pride and London Acoustic Music Festival as well as larger tours with a variety of artists including Judy Collins, Sadie & The Hotheads (featuring Elizabeth McGovern) and John Barrowman. In the U.S., she’s shared stages with AniDiFranco, Shawn Colvin, Marc Cohn and many others. “I just love performing, and any captive audience is one I feel fortunate to have a chance to engage and hopefully, uplift. I’m one of those introverted extroverts who feels most comfortable on stage, and after gigs I love meeting people and hearing their reactions to the music. I can’t wait to meet fellow Howard Jones fans, both on and off the stage.”
Sage’s current album, “Choreographic”, was released in the U.K./Europe on November 18th, via ILS/Universal/Caroline. She describes it as “a love-letter to dance” and the collection was inspired by her own relationship to ballet, which she studied for many years before shifting full-time to music. As a young student at The School Of American Ballet, she juggled intensive dance studies along with her ongoing passion for writing and recording her own songs, which had been sparked by early exposure to her parents’ record collections. Steeped in The Beatles, Buddy Holly and Elvis by her father and classical, Broadway and folk music by her mother, Sage received a 4-track recorder for her Bat Mitzvah, followed by a Jupiter 8 synthesizer. She then acquired various drum machines and eventually, computer-based sequencers to augment what had become a full-blown studio in her parents’ basement. “I would bring my whole synthesizer and drum-machine rig to local talent shows. Once people thought of me as a ‘one woman orchestra’, I started getting asked to write music for Shakespeare productions and various other plays. In high school I was fascinated by electronic music, but mainly because I was just doing my own thing and wanted to make it sound as big as possible. I’d never even played with another musician until my 20’s, where I encountered my first collaborator in the form of a violinist. What was amazing about the ’80’s was the diversity in music. As a kid I loved and absorbed all of it, especially Howard Jones. The instrumentation may have been more electronic, but the songs were never more heartfelt and universal. It was a great time to be learning the crafts of songwriting and production and I’ve been hooked ever since.”