“Potenza is to the blues what Adele is to pop.” – Rolling Stone
If you only catch one show this year, don’t take our word for it, take Rolling Stone’s:
Sounds Like: A Janis Joplin-Aretha Franklin hybrid with a mic … but a Lucinda Williams-Bonnie Raitt hybrid with a pen.
Why You Should Pay Attention: After Potenza’s spellbinding blind audition yielded a four-chair turn on NBC’s The Voice, a visibly moved Pharrell Williams told her she was “giving this generation something they’ve never seen before.” Potenza is to the blues what Adele is to pop: a colossal-voiced singer who merges her old-school influences with a modernistic sound. Her new album, Monster, solidifies endless Janis Joplin vocal comparisons but also colors between the lines of Memphis blues, Nashville Americana, New Orleans funk and L.A. punk. Its lyrics are personal and personally therapeutic, as she empowers herself through tunes denouncing industry naysayers and embracing her fuller-figured, boisterous self.
She Says: “It’s hard for a size 16, 36-year-old woman.” But she’s come to realize those numbers actually work in her favor. “I’ve never opened a door with my looks. Because I’ve always relied on my personality and my talent, I’ve really flourished and feel strong and confident. I don’t know how to get someone to buy me a drink in a bar, but I’ll sing you a song!”
When she was young, she sang for her family and listened to her parents’ album collection before deciding to pursue singing professionally. With an unusually low voice, and sang with an all-male choir in middle school. She married fellow musician Ian Crossman. After spending seven years with her band Sarah & The Tall Boys, Sarah relocated to Nashville with not much more than her husband and her monster vocals. With that coupled with her honest reflective songwriting she quickly garnered the attention of the city’s thriving music scene and she became a staple at the world renowned Bluebird Café and the globally broadcast Music City Roots program, as well as guest appearances on Grand Ol’ Opry, before landing on Season 8 of NBC’s The Voice. From there, at almost 40, the sky is the limit! Come see what all the shouting’s about!