The Cabin Of Solitude

Talking With...Sarah McLachlan of Lilith Fair

Sisters in Song

Men are about the only thing missing from Lilith Fair, the novel, all-female Lollapalooza-like summer tour featuring a rotating lineup with such artists as Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Fiona Apple, Suzanne Vega, Tracy Chapman and Emmylou Harris. Headlining the fair is the woman who first envisioned it, Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan, 29, who is playing all 37 dates and has just released her fourth album, Surfacing (Nettwerk/Arista), a long awaited follow-up to her 1994 double-platinum, Grammy-nominated disc Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.

Why did you start the tour?

'Women finally have a voice,' says the Fair's founding mother I rarely get the oppurtunity to get to see any of the people I really love musically, so it was selfish, generally. And there's such a wealth of talent that isn't getting represented - why not create a sisterhood?

Why name it Lilith Fair?

Lilith was Adam's first wife before Eve [in Jewish folklore] and was essentially the world's first feminist. He refused to treat her as an equal, so she left him. To call it a fair was to establish it was a celebration. And fair meaning beautiful - and equal. I liked the play on words. But from the beginning I said this has nothing to do with excluding men. Everyone should come and celebrate.

You've recently married. Have you thought about starting a family?

Oh, God, every day. But not for at least a yearing morning sickness on the road.

No story on women in music would be complete without including Sarah McLachlan. After all, the all-female Lilith Tour that wowed crowds this summer was her beautiful brainchild! "I kept seeing all these fantastic women rising in the music industry, and I thought 'Wouldn't it be fun to put them all on the same bill?'" recalls Sarah, who brought together the likes of Fiona Apple, Joan Osborne, Tracy Chapman and Paula Cole, amongst others, for the 35-city travelling musicfest. "I love girlie energy!" Sarah McLachlan info

Growing up in Canada, Sarah was classically trained on piano and guitar, yet a folk-rock fire kindled within her. At 17, she started making albums. She broke through with Fumbling Towards Ecstasy in 1994 (it sold over 2 million copies in the U.S. alone).

Sarah's most popular music has a dark and haunting side - probably because we all feel that way sometimes. "The ugly times are when you learn," Sarah says. Her recently released Surfacing continues in the same vein yet seeks to uncover even more. "With every record, I'm trying to peel awayod look at myself," she explains.

Right now, Sarah seems happy to be who she is - on a personal as well as professional level. Last year she got married (her hubby's a drummer named Ashwin Sood), and when she's not performing she's having fun puttering around the house. "I love gardening and baking," Sarah says. "I'm in domestic bliss, big-time!"

Talk about having it all!

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