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Adams Avenue Street Fair Takes Over Normal Heights

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September 24, 2015 1:23 p.m.

Adams Avenue Street Fair Takes Over Normal Heights

GUEST:

Sara Petite, singer and songwriter

Related Story: Adams Avenue Street Fair Takes Over Normal Heights

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

This is Midday Edition. I am Maureen Cavanaugh. The 25th team ADAMS Street fair gets underway this weekend and it features over one hundred musical acts. If you are familiar with the musical scene, many of those names will be familiar including my next guest. Singer-songwriter Sara Petite. She is known for her songwriting and deeply felt lyrics and what she calls are outlawed country sound. She has won the San Diego music award three times. She is nominated again this year. She is here to talk and plate is it. So let's start with the music. Here is a song called the Road less traveled.
This song is about being on the road and the life of an artist is very different than the life of somebody who goes to work at nine different than the life of somebody who goes to work at 92 different than the life of somebody who goes to work at 925 -- 9 to 5.
Music Mac -- [music]
Thank you, Sarah. That is Sara Petite and doing her song the road less traveled. That twang in your voice that sounds like it was always there. Does that only, when you sing?
Yes, it does. When I was a kid I would listen to Loretto Lynn and it is an East Kentucky accent that comes out. I have to concentrate hard not to have it. I was lucky I did some demos in Nashville one time and Loretto Lynn got hold of her demo. She said I love her sound. I laughed because I have her voice. I don't sound as good as she does.
You have had a winding road getting to a musical career. You studied international relations and intelligence. How did that work out for you?
It worked out pretty well. I did some research jobs. It ended up after school I got a 9 to 5. I was used to having full-time jobs and after five I had nothing to do. I started writing songs more and more and stumbled into music. I made a CD because my grandma wanted me to do one of the songs I had written. For a CD I ended up on a compilation with universal mesic in France. I don't know how I got on there. I think it was the book blink, when you stumble on two things and you end up doing things you were supposed to do. I have a fun life.
Is songwriting a joy for you or is it growing?
I have a song I have been working on for three months and it's driving me nuts. I have other songs I can write in five minutes. Someone will tell me a story and it will give me an idea for a song. I have been through a lot of stuff, and it was cathartic to heal some of the stuff I have been through. Not stuff that other people hadn't been through, but it's deep stuff. It helps with the writing.
I am going to ask you to sing again if you would. I think you will do a song called porcelain dolls.
Both of my jobs were very public at a time where I needed to be a way from people. Sometimes you can't hold it together in front of people. That is how this one came about because I was feeling messed up inside. On the outside you are supposed to be happy and put together. I don't think any of us are always put together. I don't know if it's just artists, I am in up and down person. I am up a lot but the down sometimes gets wacky. This is called porcelain doll.
[music]
Fragile like a bird. Broken wing. Trying to sing. She is still trying to sing. Lipstick lacquer and pain, there are hearts you can heal and hearts that you can't. There are just hurts that you can't. Porcelain doll. Porcelain doll. Fragile and small. Porcelain doll.
Smile but you are crying under it all. Any minute now you could stumble and fall. You could crack, you could break. Swallow the bitter pill those watches -- washes down. Put on your frown. You have thorns in your crown.
Porcelain doll. Porcelain doll. Fragile and small. Porcelain doll.
You smile and you wave and you lead the parade. Inside your petite masquerade. Wonders what it felt like to take the last breath. Little girl is not afraid of death. She is there she is warm clean up the mess. So you swallowed the bitter pill those washes down. Mascara is running, put on your crown. You have chrome -- thorns in your crown.
Porcelain doll. Porcelain doll. Fragile and small. Porcelain doll. Fragile and small. Porcelain doll.
That one leaves a lump in your throat. Writing songs like that helps you heal?
I think so. I cry a lot through them. As a human being you go through a lot in your life. You are lucky if you skate by and not a lot happens to you.
I am speaking with Sara Petite and we just heard her song porcelain doll. What can your fans look forward to in your new album?
It's like every album has been pretty much. You get the same Sara Petite writing but they have all been a little bit more country. This one I think the writing is a lot different and some of the songs sound different than I have done before. I think you change and evolve. In the last four years, I have had a lot of changes.
And that shows in your writing.
Some of that is other people stories and some of it is mine. There are a lot of sad songs but there is happiness also.
You will be performing with your band the sugar daddies. What do you enjoy about performing at the street fair?
That is my once a year hometown show. It seems like everybody comes out for it. I worked for years at a bar close to the stage. And they all come out and see me. I get to run into all the musicians I have played with and no and love. We are all friends.
I am going to ask you to play this out. I will close the show with another song. I want to thank everyone for listening. Join us tomorrow for Midday Edition. I will close with Sara Petite and how far I will go.
[music]
How fast and far I could go. A few years later, curiosity and love, exploring just how far. How fast and far I could go. Sometimes in life you've got to push the limits. And no saying who's come out lose and who's going to win it. That summer night I needed to know how far I could go. It's the wind, it's the rush, it's these need, I could go a little bit out of control.
I needed to know how far I could go. How fast and far I could go.
20 years old, mommy and daddy did cry. I was bound for California, burning up that road.