The San Diego artist is releasing her fourth album August 6th, 2013. The Circus Comes to Town was written before and after the death of her partner Johnny Kuhlken. “It’s a full perspective of the human being - jealousy, infidelity, fun, wit, tragedy, pain, loss, perseverance, substance abuse, shame, guilt and just plain silliness.”
As written by Sara: This album came on the heels of my best friend and partner Johnny Kuhlken suddenly passing away in 2011. Some material was already written for the album, and some of it was written after he passed away. Making this album was a way to keep me going, trying to find light in a dark world, as I cursed the sun every morning it was shining in my window.
My friend and producer of my past album Doghouse Rose, Eddie Gore, wanted to get me in the studio right away. I think it was his way of helping me out of some of the pain I was going through. Dave ‘Ro’ Rorick helped pull the musicians together. We also asked his friend Rick Lonow to play on it, and found out that both of them played together on June Carter’s last two albums – a favorite of mine. Bob Britt played guitar and Eddie’s cousin, Ethan Ballinger, did acoustic and mandolin. There were many songs to choose from and a lot of them tended to be so very sad - we recorded 15 and whittled it down 11. Even though the last two years I had gone through most of my waking hours with a heavy heart, I didn’t want this album to be maudlin.
There is beauty and experience in tragedy. Some of the most hilarious and enlightening moments of my life came after Johnny passed away.
One of the most amazing experiences I have found is how many people share tragedy. People at my shows would thank me for playing some of the saddest songs that were (at times) difficult to get through. I started really just playing for myself after Johnny passed away, and found that that was the best thing I could do. It was a cathartic experience and it was wonderful to know people were touched, healed a little, and moved by songs such as “Circus Comes to Town,” “Forever Blue” and “Drinking to Remember.”