Rachael Sage Has ‘New Songs’ Too


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Rachael Sage


Howard Jones fan Rachael Sage gets to appear on stage with him in Winchester!

By Kevin Gover

If you are one of the lucky ones to have a ticket for Howard Jones in Winchester, the message is please don’t hang around the bar during the support act.

Rachael Sage is supporting the man she has admired for a long time – and in a chat via Skype from New York Rachael told me that up until this tour they had not even met:  “I’ve heard nothing but kind words from him and can’t wait to get together in Winchester. I’m trying to be cool! But I’m really glad it’s sold out and I’m just there for the ride.”

Rachael Sage

Hereby lies a tale. Bear with me!

Back in 1983, I was on the radio in Brussels – 2 years into one of the best jobs I have ever had… apart from this one of course!

In that year, Howard Jones burst onto the pop scene with ‘New Song’ – and it was like a breath of fresh air.

A couple of months later, I had the pleasure of meeting him and interviewing him too (twice)… a charming, kind and polite man totally in love with the music. 34 years on, the rest is history; Howard Jones has gone on to enjoy considerable chart success, and with a sell-out show in Winchester, continues to draw the crowds.

Rachael meanwhile back in 1983 was 12, growing up in New York – and eventually getting to appreciate the music of the great man himself.

Now all three of us are in the same city – even if it’s only for just one day!

Rachael Sage

“I can’t remember which grade I was in, but when he was on MTV I was absolutely influenced by him,” Rachael tells me. Posters on the wall, a young fan – I liked his hair, the lyrics were positive and I really related to that.

“I plugged in my drum machine and wanted to do what he was doing. He gave me hope in a way. I remember being in Connecticut and being described as a female Howard Jones.”

Rachael has plenty of experience of music like classical, Broadway, jazz, a bit of folk – but tells me that she has her sister to thank too for a different direction: “My sister was much cooler than me and listened to alternative British music on the radio – things like The Smiths and The Cure. Once I heard British pop, well that was the best.”

Rachael tells me that the Howard Jones song that really stuck with her was his 1986 hit ‘No One Is To Blame’ – which was far more successful in the U.S (Billboard Number 4) than it was here (Number 16): “It’s timeless, beautiful, universal. I’ve only done a couple of cover songs, but that’s one of them, a great one. He’s a master at writing music.”

Rachael Sage

So, what of Rachael’s own music? ‘Choreographic’ is her new album (see the video for ‘Try Try Try’ below) – and Rachael describes it as a love letter to her childhood: “It’s thinking about dance. It’s always been with me, those are my roots and all those melodies have found their way on to it. I’ve had lots of fun doing the album.

“The TV show ‘Dance Moms’ exposed me to lyrical dance. The focus is fun – bringing in string players and communicating with them through dance and moving my arms.”

Perhaps you will not be surprised that Rachael loves England, having spent time here building up a fan base: “It’s a home away from home and I’ve even thought of moving there.” What, even the rain? (It’s pouring down outside as we speak…) “Yes! I’ve always felt at home, whether it be London, Cambridge, Oxford and the countryside. I drive people nuts – “Can we stop the car and pet a sheep?!” – You know, we live in places that we take for granted. I walk my entire city for 20 blocks… five hours sometimes. I love the diversity.”

Rachael is at rachaelsage.com where you can listen to more of her music. There’s loads more on YouTube, and she’s also on Twitter @rachaelsage