Sarah Beatty Performs at Hamilton’s Artword Artbar

Sarah Beatty is comfortable behind a microphone and in front of an audience, although she says she has performed as a soloist only twice. Her experience in front of an audience includes about 200 gigs with a band. Her relaxed mood didn’t dull her wit nor her musical impact. “Glad you’re all here, getting folked up in Hammertown,” she began, followed by a quick shout out to her fan who had travelled from Fort MacMurray to see her. Now that’s dedication!

Doctoral studies in environmental studies at McMaster have brought Sarah to Hamilton. Music and songwriting will be a big part of her life going forward, although her academic pursuits will still exert some influence. When asked about her ties to Hamilton, she was very forthcoming:

I’ve been here for 2.5 years now, but I feel like I’m still discovering this city – which is great for the adventure. It’s not a city that instantly reveals itself and requires a bit of inquiry, but really unique and wonderful things reside in its tucked-away places. E.G. Indi 101.5 is a great station – Had a great conversation with Andrew and Les, they were very helpful, The Pearl Company, The Artword Artbar, the Farmers Market & Library, Cootes Paradise, the Bruce Trail, Art Crawl, Ottawa Street fabric and antique shops, and most recently discovered – custard tarts from Ola on James St. North.

On Hamilton musicians:

I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of musicians in Hamilton, but I’ve received nothing but love from the McKenna brothers (Joel and Ryan), Alfie Smith and Nicole Christian, Gary White, Shawn Brush, Kim Koren, the Hamilton Folk Club  and Guitar Geek communities, and some other people whose names I’ve since forgotten.  I met most of these folks at open mic nights. I’ve always loved open mic nights because I feel like that’s really where musicians have a chance to interact. Whether you’re an ace or just starting out, open mics level the playing field for everyone and can generate surprise moments that can’t happen in a more decided setting. That being said, finding an open mic with inexpensive beer has been a challenge for me. If you know of any…. Please do let me know!

As far as her music goes, she covered many bases of style and substance, from the lightweight and whimsical The Mighty Molecule, a song which cleverly compares human relationships to mysterious, serendipitous atomic forces to a number of more deeply felt and beautiful melodies. With lyrics like, “You can steal my thunder, but I can steal your rain,” Beatty gets you thinking. She keeps her melodies simple and beautiful. Her voice is confident, uplifting and controlled. It’s easy and good to sing along. Her music is a perfect match for this room and this time.

I’m not an optimist, but I do believe in dreams.

Sarah Beatty can be contacted at

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