With a saxophone on her back, a fiddle in one hand and electric guitar in the other, Cork based Clare Sands is a musician, composer, songwriter and music therapist whose time has come.
Even at 25, her resume includes a burgeoning music career, a first class honours degree in Music & Italian, and a black belt with several world medals representing Ireland in Karate.
Clare released her debut album ‘Join Me at The Table’ in October 2016 to critical acclaim ‘Really beautiful sounds’- RTE Radio 1. The album, entirely self-composed with Clare playing the majority of instruments, is an eclectic mix of Blues/Folk/Jazz/Trad, recorded by musician and producer Christian Best of Monique Studios, Cork. The album was one of Clare’s personal highlights of 2017, as well as performing at Electric Picnic, Cork Opera House, The INEC, and The National Concert Hall, as a solo artist and session musician.
With deep roots in Northern Ireland and County Wexford, Clare started playing the fiddle at the age of four (she is a sixth generation fiddler), learning tunes from her father Seamus on a weekly basis while her mother Susan introduced her to the Blues. As well as playing Traditional Irish Music from an early age with different family members, Clare also trained classically on the violin. She soon found a love for song and used whatever instruments that lay around the house like the guitar, the piano, the bodhrán or the mandolin to accompany herself.
Having recently played her biggest show to date, Liverpool’s Feis in July 2018 alongside Irish legends Imelda May and Shane McGowan to 15,000 people, Sands is a force to be reckoned with, selling out gigs all over Ireland and Europe following her success at the Feis. Her latest single ‘Dance X3!’ with legendary guitarist and producer, Jimmy Smyth (Van Morrison, Mary Coughlan, Chaka Khan) was met with critical acclaim; holding position at No 2 in the Irish Airplay Charts for over two months, it received excellent reviews by BBC, RTE, The Irish Times – it’s ‘a celebration of groove and Motown songcraft’ – Nialler 9.
Today, she works as a full-time musician combining live performance, composition, music teaching and music therapy, while still finding time to meet the demand for her talents as a session musician, working and playing with various renowned artists; The Hothouse Flowers, Shane McGowan, Imelda May, Mundy, The Stunning, Finbar Furey, Luka Bloom, Jack L, Albert Hammond, Susan O Neill, Kris Drever, Mary Coughlan, Mick Flannery, Stocktan’s Wing, John Spillane, to name a few. She continues to tour Ireland and Europe, making new, exciting, and eclectic music every day.
Clare’s new record ‘The Basement Sessions’ is due out this summer 2019, you can pre-order here. It is ‘magical & moving, powerful yet delicate, ephemeral & ethereal, yet durable’ – The Irish Times.