Sara Groves Biography
Imagine how thick the air would be if every word from our mouths flew up toward the sky and hung there, like a cloud. Like the dialog in cartoon strips, only floating free above our heads, without a bubble to contain them. Now imagine the shock of seeing the words we think, but never say, gathered there as well. Our pride, our anger, our doubts, our fears all spelled out and undeniable. How could we live like that?
For Sara Groves, whose music speaks into existence words most of us would never dare, as vulnerable at that would make us all, it's a prospect worth pondering.
From a very young age, Sara always wrestled with words. She'd get them down on paper and even put music to them, but she never really considered their worth. After graduating from Evangel College in 1994, Sara taught high school English and History for four years and began singing her songs 'on the side.' But the more her relationship with God began to be challenged and shaped by life experience, the more Sara felt compelled to do more with her words. Music became driving force because life simply left her with too much to say.
As a result, in 1998, Sara, with the help of husband/manager Troy, recorded Past the Wishing on a shoestring budget as a gift for family and friends. By word of mouth, the album project grew in popularity, becoming one of the standout independent recordings of that year. Sara's concert schedule grew exponentially, and major labels came calling with recording deals, but Sara chose to remain independent to focus on developing a ministry and growing as a songwriter.
Speaking From Experience
Encouraged by the reception of Past the Wishing, Sara recorded her second album, Conversations, at The Sound Kitchen, by invitation of Pamplin Music's Dino Elefante. The album released independently in 1999, and in 2000 Sara met industry veteran and owner of INO records Jeff Moseley. Sara felt Moseley's innovative and new way of doing things met her desire to have more marketing support and larger distribution of her albums, but also allow her to remain very involved in her career. In fall 2000 Sara recorded new songs for the INO release of Conversations, which will release March 2001.
On this project, Sara was able to give her poignantly honest songs the musical attention they deserved. There's a distinctive clarity in the production that enhances the rich acoustic folk/pop settings in which Sara frames her lyrics. Musically Sara is reminiscent of Shawn Colvin and Sarah McLachlan, and although her lyrical style is uniquely hers, she has been compared to Rich Mullins. Complex in its simplicity, powerful in its weakness, whimsical but wise.
Conversations gives the listeners a chance to eavesdrop on scenes in Sara's life-from struggling to talk about faith with a friend in the title track, to asking God to speak up when faced with big decisions ("Hello Lord"), to trying to comfort a person facing death ("What Do I Know").
"These songs are all real experiences," Sara explains. "I hope to unveil the things we feel but don't always say...about life, about our relationships with each other and with God... and basically to say it's okay. Because I think God is saying 'It's okay.' He knows who we are, and he knows when we're trying to put on a brave face, and that's such a joke. He sees us for real, and it's okay."
Conversations is an album that communicates, in subtle and forthright ways, that faith is not a subject to be shied away from, that honest discussion among friends--believers and non-believers alike--can only make us stronger.
"I believe every person has a next step with God, something next to do," she says. "I want my music to challenge people to take that next step. Whatever that next step is, even if it is coming from a place of doubt--where you aren't sure God even exists--say that, that's a step.
Yell it out."
The Universal Language
Sara Groves knows that music is a universal language, and she is excited about the opportunity to speak it on her own terms, as a songwriter with a Christian worldview. "It's amazing to me the doors music can open. You cannot say five words to someone, but you can talk to them about Christ and who He is...in the music," she says. "I used to struggle with the fact that I don't write as poetic as some people... I used to think good music was something you couldn't understand, all these veiled literary references that the average person couldn't decipher." But, she says, when it comes down to it, "My music is not so much about the poetry or the art, as it is about being understood...."
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School Project/ Fan letter | Reviewer: Meg Cole | 9/10/10
My name is Meghan Cole and i am doing a school project for English. This school project requiers me to choose a person or company of my choice to email and hopefuly get a writen email back if posible or atleast a. email from that persons manager. I chose you for my school project because I listen to your music all of the time. You are my favorite christian artist. Your songs allways lift me up. one of my favorite ones is "All I Need". Sometimes I sing your songs when my friends and I are hanging out and they tell me "Meg you sound almost exactly like her." but i really don't believe that I am that good of a singer. Any ways I am hoping to get an email back from you or anyother person of your choosing.
Thank You Sara,
Thank You Sara Groves | Reviewer: Amy Fischer | 12/12/07
I first saw you on TV playing your heart out on a black baby grand piano on TBN and I watched in wonder. I have been a huge fan ever since. My sister and I listen to you, your music has helped me soo much! I tell my friends it's better than therapy for me. I know every word to ever song on Add To The Beauty and just ordered all your Cd's. I like All Right Here very much, also Less Like Scars and Surrender really help alot. I'm a single mom struggling with forgiveness for my son's father, who isn't involved at all with my son. Your music has helped me grow in my relationship with God and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Refreshingly honest and self-effacing | Reviewer: J. Pahnke | 10/19/07
Sara Grove's candid and self-effacing yet poignant, folksy style is extremely refreshing in todays culture which while full of shallow words says very little meaningful in an attempt to sell the most records to the most people. In stark contrast, Sara's music, and the themes it contains, is at once both deeply personal and universally felt, the hallmark of a gifted and dedicated writer who, thankfully for us, has opened up her soul for all the world to hear by tackling important real-life issues of faith and doubt, love and relationships, and challenging what it means to be a "Christian" in an increasingly faith-less and post-modern society. Fiercely true to her musical calling and beliefs, while at the same time refusing to conform to the dictates of "success," (or what the world's definition of that is), is not an easy task in today's culture, yet in album after album and song after song she somehow continues to do so, in the process challenging us all. I am so grateful to have discovered her music, which in some ways is reminiscent of old Joan Biaz or Joni Mitchell but also all its own with guitar and piano-based melodies infused with her unique earnest yet plaintive, folk-like voice. Independent music lovers and seekers of truth everywhere who tire of pat answers to honest struggles and endless (and empty) self-gratification in our materialistic culture will appreciate her simple but pointed focus on the more important things, (as well as her varied and creative instrumental arrangements). Definitely worth a listen!
Questions for a bible study | Reviewer: Melissa Gillies | 8/11/07
Mrs. Groves, my name is Melissa and I will be teaching a bible study class on "Devotion Time with God." Would you be willing to answer the following questions and reply back. Also, may I use your answers during my teaching time? #1 - Is daily devotion important in your life and why? #2 - How would you encourage someone else to have devotional time with God? Thank you and God Bless - Melissa Gillies
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