Sarah Lou Richards will tell you that she was born in Wisconsin. But the folk-Americana musician known as SLR was born in Nashville. Richards released her folksy debut EP, Emerald City, in September 2009; Henry Paul, lead singer of the multiplatinum country band BlackHawk, produced her first full-length album, 2010's twangier, Ruby Red Shoes. Last year, she teamed up with Gary Nichols, lead singer of the Grammy-nominated bluegrass band The SteelDrivers
. They recorded a duet, "I Ain't Easy to Love," at the legendary FAME and NuttHouse studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the sessions were so successful that Nichols signed on to produce her sophomore full length.
Richards has shared the stage with globally recognized artists like Jamie O'Neal, Sarah Siskind, and Gabe Dixon and opened for Bombadil and Woody Pines, among other nationally touring acts.
As the hype surrounding her new album builds, others are discovering it too. Says Nichols:
"For me, what it comes down to is that the girl can sing. Or, the way I say it down here in Alabama, that girl can SANG."