Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Rachael Sage is a New York City songstress whose music playfully avoids simple categorization. Weaving together bits of folk, pop, rock, blues, jazz, and cabaret while stirring in Celtic and Middle Eastern accents, Sage has created an eclectic body of work that's witty, graceful, and powerfully intimate. Born in Port Chester, New York, Sage developed a taste for music at an early age, listening to her parents spinning the Beatles, Billy Joel, Buddy Holly, and George Gershwin on the family stereo, and by the age of four she was learning to play piano. It wasn't long before Sage discovered she had a gift for learning songs by ear, picking out tunes she'd heard on the radio. By the time Sage was in second grade, she was honing her talent for writing and performing songs, finding it was a good way to distract the bullies at school, and in time she would formally study voice, drama, and dance (she was admitted to the prestigious School of American Ballet, and attended the MFA program at the Actors Studio).
When Rachael received a four-track recorder as a bat mitzvah present, she began learning the nuts and bolts of audio recording and production, and after enrolling at Stanford University, Sage was soon regularly performing at local coffeehouses. In 1996, Sage recorded her first album, Morbid Romantic, and released it on her own MPress Records label. (In time, MPress would grow into a successful independent label, releasing albums by Melissa Ferrick, Seth Glier, and A Fragile Tomorrow as well as Sage's body of work.) By 1999, Sage had released a second album, Smashing the Serene, and performed on the Village Stage on the 1999 Lilith Fair tour, as well as being chosen to open for Ani DiFranco on a tour of Europe.
A prolific songwriter and recording artist, by the time Sage dropped Blue Roses in 2014 (which included Sage performing a duet of Neil Young's "Helpless" with her close friend and mentor Judy Collins), she'd released 11 full-length albums and two EPs, brought home four Independent Music Awards, and won the grand prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. In addition to her busy recording schedule, Sage tours regularly, playing upwards of 100 dates a year with her band the Sequins (Kelly Halloran on violin, Ward Williams on cello, and Andy Mac on drums). Sage is also a published author and an accomplished visual artist who has displayed her work in New York galleries and provided illustrations for her album packaging.