Sarah Lee Langford is slowly getting back in front of audiences. Her debut album, Two Hearted Rounder, was released just five months before the pandemic abruptly shut things down. She just wrapped an appearance at Six Mile Fest just south of Montevallo, and she’ll open the Homewood Theatre Music Series on Saturday with her pedal steel player Ford Boswell.
She and Boswell have also been working on a new project with Will Stewart that has a “honky-tonk” vibe. On Saturday, folks will be able to hear some of those tunes for the first time.
Two Hearted Rounder was released at the very end of 2019. Then we had the holidays. Then everything hit the fan. How difficult was it to put the record out then have everything shut down immediately after?
It was a little deflating. [laughs] But, you know–it happened to everybody. A lot of people had records that were due to come out. A lot of people put records out anyway. I knew I wasn’t alone. I still want to tour it one day, but now isn’t quite the time anymore. Having two young children makes that type of thing a little bit harder to organize. But I do want to play some more around town, so I’m glad that they asked me to play this one. People still kind of remember that I’m out there. [laughs]
What was the last year like for you? Did you write? Are there new songs? A new record?
Absolutely! There are new songs. Will Stewart and I are making a record together. We’re about halfway done recording it. We’re doing it with Brad Timko. We thought we’d do an EP–double-billed as Will Stewart and Sarah Lee Langford–but we liked how it turned out so much that we’re going to get back into the studio and turn it into a full length.
We decided we didn’t want to start a new “band” because he’s filled up with those. [laughs] It’s the same personnel that was on my record. Will has written a couple of songs and I’ve written some and we did one co-write. That’s pretty exciting, but we’ll have to find another time to get back in studio. We’re hoping August.
Are you starting to perform some of these songs live or are you sticking to what’s on the record?
Yeah. I like trying them out, especially the ones that we haven’t recorded yet. It’s better to try them out live before you record. Everything can change so much once you’ve tested it out in front of an audience.
You’ll be the first to perform this concert series at Homewood Theatre. That type of room is something that hasn’t really existed in Birmingham since Moonlight on the Mountain. Is it nice to have a “listening room” type of space back in town?
Yeah! I’m stoked about it! The pressure is on! [laughs] It’s really different to play for a quiet audience. They’re hanging on every note. And they’re looking at you, too. All eyes on you, for sure. You’ve got to really be on your toes. But that’s good and healthy; just not always the easiest task.
The Homewood Theatre Music Series opens with a performance from Sarah Lee Langford on Saturday, June 12. The space is located inside Brookwood Mall. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online. Doors are at 7 p.m. and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m.