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March 16, 2009
Sacramento Single: Sasha & the Shamrocks "Happy Anywhere"

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Sasha Soukup wanted to get away from it all. So, she and husband Chris Streng packed up their San Francisco home and moved to Grass Valley.

Soukup found it quiet and peaceful and, well, kind of boring.

"We lived by ourselves at the end of a dirt road and I got really tired of myself," Soukup says. "I needed some hobbies and I'd started to notice my own crappy patterns when it came to not making art."

And, so armed with a desire to get something done, she joined a local artists' group and started exploring music. Soukup had sang and played before - but never really beyond her bedroom.

"I had terrible stage fright," she says.

But, as she started to feel at ease with her art, Soukup decided it was time to take it public - with a little help from her husband and a set of makeshift drums.

"We didn't have drums at first, he was just playing on pans and a bucket."

That stopgap approach fits the music.

Anchored by Soukup's raw, punk voice, the Shamrocks, who recently added bass player Taylor cook, make music inspired by everything from '50s pop vocals, and doo wop to calypso, punk and pop.

"I've been listening to a lot of music from the San Francisco psychedelic music scene lately - a lot of Jefferson Airplane," she says.

"We've been doing a cover of White Rabbit' - I love the way Grace Slick sings, it's so operatic and trippy."

Sasha & the Shamrocks

Song: "Happy Anywhere"
Style: Lo-fi experimental pop with a nostalgic flair
Behind the song: The musical structure came first.
"It's just a fun little thing, the chord is a happy little thing."
The lyrical content follows a parallel to Soukup's life.
"The words are all about different places around the world - places my close friends have been," Soukup says. "There's someone who spent time on a fishing boat in Alaska, another friend lives in Dubai.
"It's just about making that choice to move out of our comfort zone, when you get that bug to change something up geographically."

Listen to "Happy Anywhere" here;


See them: Saturday at the Center for the Performing Arts (314 W. Main St, Grass Valley). Uni & her Ukulele and Tippy Canoe also perform. The 8 p.m. is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For more information: www.thecenterforthearts.org and (530) 274-8384.

On the Web: myspace.com/sashaandtheshamrocks

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