February 19, 2006

Sarah Harmer, Sydenham Street United Church, Kingston, 25 November 2005

Posted in bootleg, mp3 at 6:16 pm by rgsc

[photo by Andy Learmont from the 2002 Edmonton Folkfest]

I don’t think it is much of an exaggeration to state that Sarah Harmer is one of the most versatile singers currently performing. She has successfully tried her hand at numerous musical genres from alt/indie rock as part of Weeping Tile, to pleasing pop in her two solo records released by Warner Universal, and folk-bluegrass-roots-jazz in her work with Jason Euringer and in her latest solo release. And she has performed with a diverse assortment of artists including The Tragically Hip, Great Big Sea, the Rheostatics, and the Weakerthans. In each project her powerful, clear voice seems at home: it never feels less than authentic and natural. Her newest record, “I’m A Mountain,” released February 7th in the US and to be released on March 6th in Europe, takes a “back to the land” approach in both its theme and musical style. The record was inspired by the “I love the Escarpment Tour” which she undertook to raise awareness about the pressing need to preserve the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, from mining companies (she talks to the Queen’s Journal about the album, the tour and the Escarpment; see PERL for more info on this and to sign their petition; Click here to hear my recording of “Escarpment Blues” which she performed with Broken Social Scene, hosted by SilverRoad). This mix of covers, new versions of older songs, and new material is authentic and serious, amusing and uplifting, and stunningly beautiful throughout (see CokeMachineGlow’s review).

Her performance at Sydenham St. United Church was a part of a mini-tour to promote the album upon its Canadian release (she is about to embark on a US tour, which include a March 17th performance at SxSW). The church, a gorgeous 19th century building, provided a wonderful atmosphere for Harmer and her band to introduce her new material, revisit old favourites, and perform some covers and standards that aren’t on her albums. Unfortunately, due to a frustrating technical difficultly I wasn’t able to record the better part of the show. I did however capture the last five songs. They are on rapidshare as usual so follow the links, a zip file with all the songs and talk is at the end. [UPDATE – I have uploaded the songs onto ezarchive so download away] I am sorry for the tape hiss which is present throughout and which I haven’t figured out how to reduce/remove. The last song was sung a capella and without the use of a microphone – while this was amazing to see in person it means the recording isn’t as strong. I hope you enjoy these tracks. I have several more Sarah Harmer shows on tape so you will see her again on this site in the future.

Sarah Harmer, Sydenham Street United Church, Kingston, 25 November 2005

1) Will He Be Waiting for Me.mp3 (3.55 MB)
2) Iā€™m a Mountain.mp3 (3.32 MB)
3) Around this Corner.mp3 (3.28 MB)
4) Lodestar.mp3 (5.03 MB)
5) How Deep in the Valley.mp3 (4.64 MB)

6) Sarah Harmer- Sydenham St United -complete.zip (23.8 MB) (link expired)


  1. woj said,

    thanks for this! more harmer never hurts!

  2. ekko said,

    You’ve got a very cool blog here. I’m adding you to my blogroll. Reciproacte?

  3. lillvix said,

    Hey awesome!
    i wish i still lived in kingston.. I grew up on weeping tile and I havent been able to get out to a harmer solo show yet.. It kilsl me too taht i dont live in kingston anymore to see awesome smaller shows like that one.
    bring on the harmer!!

  4. rgsc said,

    Hey Lillvix. I have a few more recordings of Sarah so check back everyonce in a while. Seeing her live is something I can’t recommend highly enough. I have seen her something like 8 times and I have always been blown away. One thing that kingston has in spades is great shows in great, small locations.
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  5. Joel said,

    Is there anyway you could set these up again on Rapidshare? The links don’t seem to be working anymore…thanks a bunch šŸ™‚

  6. rgsc said,

    Hey Joel – I just checked the links and they all seem to be working. Rapidshare, in its craptacular wisdom, however, will only let you download so much in an hour. if you exceed your limit it should come up with a notice saying something to the effect of “give us money or wait 46 minutes”. Give it another shot (particularly the zipfile at the end) and if you still have no luck I can send you it by yousendit or something.

  7. Save a Tree said,

    Thank you so much for the bootLOG šŸ™‚
    I must say, I’ve only discovered ms. Harmer about 20 hours ago, and am really blown away by this talented woman. As I don’t live in the UK, all I can say is please keep on posting those live shows. Thanks loads (again).
    Greetings from Holland

  8. rgsc said,

    Hi Tree,
    You are most welcome. I am glad that I am able to share the Sarah-love internationally. I have a few more concerts taped so check back every once in a a while.

  9. rgsc said,

    Save a tree – i hope you check these comments as I just this evening got a message from the sarah harmer mailing list stating that she would be performing in Holland on May 30 at Statenzaal Het Hof-Dordrecht Holland (www.crossroadsradio.nl)

    I highly recommend seeing her live if you can. It is a wonderful experience. I imagine it would be a small venue, too, which would make it all the better. If you do end up going please leave another comment to let me know how it went.

  10. Hello, I have loved Sarah’s music for a long time, and just recently stumbled upon some live stuff. Unfortunately, the links above don’t work. And, I would LOVE to add them to my collection. If anyone has them, I can handle 20mb attachments on my email addy, or I will do whatever you need me to do to get them somehow. From one Sarah fan to another, thanx!

  11. […] Our hometown hero, Sarah Harmer returned to Kingston close to a year after her previous visit to perform another stunningly beautiful show. In fact, I think it may have been an almost perfectly picked set – ok, I would have added is a few Weeping Tile songs, but that’s just me, otherwise it was fantastic. Ms. Harmer was quite chatty and rather funny except when she was discussing serious matter like trying to save one of the oldest tree east of the Rockies – HEY LOOK! There will be a benefit concert on November 5th go! And donate online to this cause!. Both Sarah and her band sounded amazing, as we’ve come to expect. Even after a weekend bender and driving seven or so hours coming back from Hershey PA – perhaps the happiest place on earth, I might add. The town smells like freshly baked brownies – I am so glad I was able to get tickets at the last minute as I, and the entire crowed, were treated to a mesmerizing performance. […]

  12. […] gone on at length previously about how wonderful I think Harmer is so I’ll just get on with the music. The recording you […]

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