Sarah Segal Lazar album
launch at Segal Studio
The actor, composer and singer performed her latest album, Valleys
By Byron Toben
December 7, 2023
On December 3, the busy Sarah Segal Lazar, actor, composer and singer, held an album launch for her latest album, Valleys, at the Segal (no relation) Studio to about 80 fans who braved the onset of what has turned out to be a major snow dump for a few days.
Sarah accompanied herself on her 21 songs with an acoustic guitar while joined with backing vocals by Joel Schwartz, who used an acoustic slide guitar and a mandolin, as well as an instrument I had not heard of before, a “resonator.” It is described as a “contraption” that vibrates in sympathy with a neighbouring instrument or voice.
Also providing some backing vocals was Matthew Barber on acoustic guitar and Marshall Bureau delivering the heavy drum beats that many songs required. Steve Zsirai, on bass, rounded out the group with instruments and one lady singer whose name I did not catch joined in nicely on the vocals on two of the songs even though she held the hand of her tiny tot to keep him from wandering off.
The songs, best described as folk-rock, often bore names of places where Sarah had lived or studied or just visited, hence Gotham, Kentucky, Even Miami Is Cold, Better In America, From Sea To Sea and Still Waters. If This City Were A Man was balanced by Rambling Man, and My Baby Left Me For Another Woman.
Two songs raised copyright questions in my legalistic mind, at least as to the titles. One was This Old House, written by Stuart Hamblen in 1954, and Rhiannon, named after a Welsh Goddess and popularized by Fleetwood Mack.
The songs, best described as folk-rock, often bore names of places where Sarah had lived or studied or just visited, hence Gotham, Kentucky, Even Miami Is Cold, Better In America, From Sea To Sea and Still Waters.
Anyway, after a standing ovation and an encore, I put on my “Famous Blue Raincoat,” which I had taken off “Earlier,” to “Say Goodnight.”
Besides composing her own songs, Sarah has been designated by the Centaur Theatre to select local musical talent for one night following Centaur shows appropriate to that show – sort of a disk jockey function performed in the lobby/gallery.
Her own previous albums are Music From Talk, Mackeral (2014), Southern Drole (2015), Two If By Sea (2015) and Songs From Sandy Cove (2017).
Valleys (2023) is available on Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music and Deezer.
Images: courtesy of Sarah Segal Lazar
Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated websites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner, and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.