Grounded In Tradition

Sarah Johns' country sound retains its rustic roots despite the modern arrangements

April 02, 2008|By Rashod D. Ollison | Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic

Sarah Johns herself will tell you she's a "traditional kinda girl." For her debut CD, Big Love in a Small Town, the country-music newcomer didn't want too much pop polish applied to her sound.

"Honey, I love Hank Williams, music like that - real country music," says the native Kentuckian. "If it was up to me, I would've put fiddles and steel all over [the album]. It would've been nothing but shuffles."

In concert Sarah Johns and George Strait perform at 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., at 7:30 Friday night. Tickets are $56.50-$66.50. Call 410-547-7328 or go to ticketmaster.com.

Sarah Johns

Born:

Pollard, Ky., and raised in a strict, religious household

Age:

27

Debut album:

Big Love in a Small Town, released Aug. 28

Career:

Attended University of Kentucky before moving to Nashville, Tenn., where she got a job cleaning tour buses. Was offered a chance to perform with Toby Keith and landed a deal with BNA Records to record Big Love. Now on tour opening for George Strait.

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