Episode 154: Sarah Kramer
Air date: 2.24.2016
Sarah Kramer is a rare bird. Her principal is trumpet, and her mastery of that instrument has earned her a career in which she has rubbed elbows and shared stages with legends like Bo Diddley, Leonard Cohen and Levon Helm. She got her start in New Jersey, studied music in college in New York City and spent some time in Taos, New Mexico, but she soon found that she suffered from a sort of musical diaspora. Through all her travels, the music and culture of New Orleans felt most like home, so she relocated to the Crescent City and immersed herself in the local scene. For eight years, she played every style she could manage - blues, jazz, latin, brass band, reggae, klezmer, alternative rock - as well as fronting her own band, The Sarah Kramer Project. She was living the dream and making a living in music, but the seeker in her implored her to push herself out of her comfort zone, so she relocated to Los Angeles and began to focus on her own unique style of songwriting and composition. Her 2013 solo release, Home, shows off her considerable talent as a musical force who defies any box in which you might try to put her. Kramer’s music is not quite folk, not quite indie and far too adventurous to lump her in with typical singer/songwriter conventions. Home starts in familiar territory, with tremolo guitars, vocals and other standard-issue tools of the trade, and just when the listener thinks they’ve got Kramer pegged, the horns sneak in - weaving in and out of the arrangements and adding fresh timbres that owe a debt more to impressionist painters than to her beloved New Orleans rhythms. Kramer is currently working on a new record, and given her resume and the caliber of players that pick up the phone when she calls, it won’t be anything but great.