It’s ok if you hear the music of Sarah Shook & The Disarmers and you don’t know how to classify it. They’re not sure about their genre, either.
“I feel like it’s a very human thing to need to categorize something,” says Shook, the band’s singer, guitarist and songwriter. “If you’re talking to your buddy about this band that you love and you want to go to the show Friday night, they’re like, ‘What kind of music is it?’ They want some kind of definitive answer.”
For the record, Shook and The Disarmers are usually identified as some strain of country music, though it’s not the kind of country you hear on mainstream radio these days. It’s definitely made for the honky-tonks and not the pop charts.
Beyond that, The Disarmers play a little bit of everything.
“We are definitely a country band,” Shook says. “We’re definitely a rock-and-roll band. There is punk rock that flows through the band every night on tour. The point of everything that we do is the music.”
‘Nightroamer’ is the first album that I’ve made as a sober person and I’m a little over two years into recovery right now. That’s a really, really cool feeling.” – Sarah Shook
“So many musicians and artists and fans are motivated by success,” she says, “and they want to see their names in the bright lights, and they want the fame and the recognition and the accolades. And those things are all things that are necessary to help a career grow in the long run. But for us, we’re not just another country band. We are like a little group of people that were lucky enough to find each other and have this little band family and travel all over the world doing what we really and truly love, which is playing music.”
Shook has a lot of music in her future. In addition to her constant touring with the Disarmers, she’s got two new albums on the horizon, and she’s already including some new songs in the band’s shows.
“The Sarah Shook and The Disarmers album ‘Nightroamer’ is coming out in February of 2022,” she says, “and I have a solo project that will be released in the fall of 2022. So it will definitely be a big and busy year for me.”
Shook is riding a wave of inspiration right now, and it’s an interesting time for her personally. She just celebrated two years of sobriety after a long period of alcohol abuse.
“Drinking was the coping mechanism that I had developed to deal with just a lot of mental health issues and trauma from my past,” she says. “‘Nightroamer’ is the first album that I’ve made as a sober person and I’m a little over two years into recovery right now. That’s a really, really cool feeling.”
It’s also a really cool feeling for Shook to be coming back to the Upstate this weekend.
“I have great Greenville memories,” she says. “I have met lifelong friends coming through town and playing shows. And any time I’m in town, I certainly try to make time to see those folks.”
Want to go?
What: Sarah Shook & The Disarmers w/ Aubrey Key
When: Saturday, Oct. 16
Where: Radio Room, 110 Poinsett Hwy., Greenville
Tickets: $12 adv/$15 door