If you’re in the mood for a couple drinks in a casual atmosphere next Wednesday night, I suggest you head to Liquid Lounge. Only a five-minute drive from campus, at 159 Sydenham St, the bar will remind you of your favourite hometown dive where the drinks are cheap and the friends are a-plenty.

While there, check out the laidback music of Sarah Smith. When she’s not away touring with her band, The Joys, who are certified gold in Canada, the singer-songwriter showcases her talents here every Wednesday night.

Her voice is rich and raspy, but it’s her energetic and engaging stage presence that draws the audience in. She asks the crowd, “Um, does anyone want to do a shot with me?” and playfully scolds the bartender, “Scotty, we need drinks! What kind of a bartender leaves to smoke a joint?”

She plays with friend and local drummer, the creatively and appropriately named, Drummer Joe. They put on an honest, genuine show and the intimate space allows you to connect with both the music and the singer. Smith even confessed, “We don’t actually practice; we just get up here and play, so thanks for listening and appreciating it for what it is.” For two people who don’t practice, the duo’s tunes rock the Liquid Lounge hard.

Sarah is the essence of real talent. Her music is a breath of fresh air and her solo CD has a raw, unscripted sound she describes as featuring “the good, the bad and the ugly.” But as an impressed, new fan, I can assure you her talent is anything but the latter.

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