Sarah MacDougall, who was born and raised in Malmö, Sweden, began her first band at 11.
“My friend Sarah and I had a duo called Sarah and Sarah,” MacDougall says, laughing.
In 2000, the 19 year-old MacDougall moved to Vancouver and began to take her career more seriously, recording her songs and touring. While playing a music festival, she met Yukoner Gordie Tentrees who invited her on tour with him. She returned the favour by arranging Tentrees’ European tour, including gigs in Sweden.
She eventually settled in the Yukon, where, recording with Bob Hamilton at Old Crow Studio, she finished her album The Greatest Ones Alive, which went on to win the 2012 West Coast Music Award for Best Solo Roots Recording.
The album has been receiving positive reviews across Canada, Europe and has recently been released in South Korea.
“I think the landscape of the North inspires me,” she says of her songwriting. “Animals, things around me and things I observe. People, love, pain.”
Chosen as one of the artists to represent the Yukon at Northern Scene in Ottawa, MacDougall is looking forward to the show.
“It seems like a really cool stage,” she says. “I’m looking forward to hearing other artists and playing with the whole band again.”
Joining MacDougall will be the Yukon’s Bob Hamilton, M.J. Dandeneau from Winnipeg on bass, Tim Tweedale from Vancouver on slide steel, and Shawn Killaly from Toronto on drums.
“We’re a national band,” she says.
After Northern Scene, MacDougall will be recording in Ontario and continuing her Canadian tour.