While most 13 year olds are busy with homework and after-school clubs, Sarah Command has been spending time with her sister, Charlotte, in Nashville finishing up an album with a publishing and production deal already under their belt. Since they began performing 5 years ago in Edmonton, Alberta, The Command Sisters have already sung at festivals across the country, and they’ve graced the stage of the Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville. Their rising success even garnered them a coveted seat at a private reception for Prince William and Kate. Sarah took some time out from recording and homeschooling in Nashville to answer a few questions for us. Here’s what she had to say…
On working with a famous producer in Nashville: The first time we met David Malloy (he has worked with Billy Gilman, Reba MacIntyre, Eddie Rabbit, Fleetwood Mac, etc), we were a little nervous because we didn’t know what to expect . Now that we know him, he feels like family and it has been a very exciting journey so far.
On meeting William and Kate: Although we didn’t perform for William and Kate, we had a private lunch with them, the Prime Minister and Premier of Alberta. It was so exciting. We got to speak privately with him for a little while, his accent made it hard to understand him but he was very nice to us! 🙂
On Recording in Nashville: I have to say that recording an album in Nashville is an amazing experience because first of all we are working with the best in the business (our guitar session player also plays for Keith Urban, the keyboardist is Jimmy Nicoll (Faith Hill‘s music director), and our bassist is Spady Brannan who has played with Reba for years). Also, David’s studio has recorded Aerosmith, the Dixie Chicks and Kenny Chesney. Its hard work but we still LOVE it!
David wants to make sure that the songs on the album are written by us only. My sister writes most of them (I wrote one). We do not co-write but maybe one day for fun. However, he has asked us to add a verse or make up a solo for a certain part of a song (we are playing acoustic, electric and mando on all the songs). When we met David, he started recording our album with 7 of our songs. Now that we are living here for awhile, he has asked my sister to finish writing 3 more. So that is part of our day right now. 🙂
On the Journey Thus Far: My sister, Charlotte, and I, have been singing and performing for five years. It was always just a hobby, no different than soccer or dance. We had enjoyed singing around the house, performing at our Grandma’s Old Folk’s Home, or putting on musicals for the neighbourhood; we never knew that it would eventually turn into a career.
Once we started playing our own instruments and writing our own songs at many of the functions in our community, it helped spread the word of what my sister and I were doing at a young age. We quickly went from singing at pancake breakfasts to opening for Gord Bamford and eventually performing at the Edmonton and Canmore Folk Fests. Most recently, we had the opportunity to sing at a nationally-televised CBC Benefit Concert with Johnny Reid, George Canyon, Emerson Drive, Victoria Banks, and others to a sold-out crowd of 2,000. We also had the honour of meeting Prince William, and his wife Kate, as Alberta’s youth ambassadors, at a private function in Calgary on July 8th.
But, last winter, a lot of musicians had recommended a website called Sonic Bids. One of the first emails we got was for a show at the world famous Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee. After sending a demo, the Blue Bird selected us to do a one-hour all-original show in April of this year! Since we couldn’t turn down the offer, we decided to find other Nashville venues to play at while we were down South.
On March 8th, we came across a link posted on Twitter about a musical venue called “The Nashville Hootenanny”. (The Nashville Hootennany is a musical showcase held once a month for the very best up-and-coming singer/songwriters.) We sent David Malloy (the founder of Nashville Hootenanny), the same demos to see if he would let us play on such short notice.
After our performance at the Hootenanny, Mr. Malloy signed us to a publishing/production deal. We are now living in Nashville temporarily (this is our 3rd trip in 6 months), finishing the recording and meeting with people in the industry. So far, the initial response to our music here has been amazing! We are very excited to be able to share this music soon.
We are also grateful for all of the support back home in Canada, as well as here in Nashville. Thank you to everyone for encouraging and helping us. Please follow us at www.facebook.com/thecommandsisters for updates of our Nashville journey.