Following the interview is an extended version of the concert review posted on iHeartOswego Facebook page following the show.
MM - We’re here at the Music Hall in Oswego with Sawyer Fredericks, the Season 8 winner of NBC’s The Voice, who's performing on the National Stage tonight. Welcome to Oswego, Sawyer.
SW - Thank you. It’s great to be here.
MM - What's been happening for you recently?
SW - I’ve been getting ready for a tour, and recently I've been working on a new EP. It's called The Golden Tree. It's actually coming out on February 24th.
MM - Your most recent album was in 2020, called Flowers For You, and you've released a new single, Lonely Bear. Will that be on the new EP?
SW - Yes it will: Lonely Bear, The Golden Tree and two songs that are unreleased at the moment, So Smooth and Farm Song. I'll probably be playing most of them tonight.
MM - It’s nice to see that you’re working on some new music. I saw that you were in Kansas City a week or so ago?
SW - Yeah, I was at the Folk Alliance, which is like a big old conference where folk musicians get to kind of network together, and see if they want to like, work with other artists, or literally they get to like, meet venue owners, dj's or like, radio hosts. It’s really just like a like big…alliance. It's cool.
MM - I see that you're headed to New England next month or so?
SW - Yeah, I'm going to like, have a City Winery tour, playing in several of those venues. I’ll be doing a co-billing with Chastity Brown - she's a great artist as well.
MM - How did you end up in Oswego tonight?
SW - I actually was approached at Folk Alliance… actually, no - it was at NERFA, which is like smaller version of Folk Alliance.
MM - And had you heard of The Music Hall prior to getting booked to play here?
SW - No, I hadn’t . I’m super excited to be sure. The sound quality is great in there. I just did the sound check.
MM - Yeah, the Music Hall folks have been doing this for 30 plus years. It’s a great program that they're able to put on! We’re looking forward to your show tonight. What would you say are your greatest musical influences?
SW - My greatest musical influences, welI…growing up I had a lot of them, but I would have to say Ray LaMontagne. I started getting into his music when I was around 11 years old and it definitely shaped more of my artistry and my style. I also like KT Tunstall, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Elvis Presley…a lot of older musicians.
MM - What are you listening to right now?
SW - I've been listening to…I'll listen to a very wide range of music. I always like to say I will listen to anything from Bob Marley to Tool!
MM - You mentioned Creedence Clearwater as an influence. I saw in your bio that you got to sing with John Fogerty of CCR when you were on The Voice? That’s kind of a pretty big thing…
SW - That was a crazy experience! It was special, and I was only 16 at that time. On The Voice, they wanted people who got farther into the finals…they asked people like, who are some artists you like, your dream artist to play with? So, I put in a list, but John Fogerty was not one I expected to get! When I heard that he was coming out, I was like, REALLY? Really! I thought I was just going to meet him onstage, but he ended up coming into the Green Room. I remember him walking over and there just…an aura, like, light around him! It was such a special moment! He’s such a sweetheart, and so is his family. I got to meet some of them as well.
MM - What a great experience! So, a new E.P., a tour…anything else coming up?
SW - That’s pretty much it…touring and making new music.
MM - Where can people follow you on social media?
SW - They can follow me on Instagram and Twitter, which are @SawyerFRDRX, and you can follow me on Facebook, which is just Sawyer Fredericks. Also, you can stay updated on all my tour dates and releases on Sawyer Fredericks.com.
MM - Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, and I’m looking forward to the show tonight.
SW - Thanks for the interview! Hope you enjoy the show!
The Oswego Music Hall welcomed singer-songwriter Sawyer Fredericks to the National Stage on Saturday evening. The young man from Fultonville, New York began performing at age 12, playing at farmers markets and local cafes. He was the Season 8 winner of NBC's music competition show, The Voice. He won a recording contract for an album, and began his recording career at the age of sixteen .
On this night, he was introduced to a sold out audience by the Music Hall’s host, Cam Caruso. Fredericks came onstage wearing black pants, a black and white shirt with sleeves rolled up and a suede fedora. The now 23 year old Fredericks performed his own songs almost exclusively. His gravelly voice, reminiscent of CCR’s John Fogerty, but he was also able to smooth it out and sing in a much higher range.
He performed all four original songs from his new 4-song EP, The Golden Tree (out on Feb.24), including his latest single "Lonely Bear." Accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, he also played several songs from his 2020 release Flowers For You, including the title song and "Amen," as well as a few from his previous albums. The only nod to his time on The Voice came with the second set opener, "A Man Of Constant Sorrow," which he performed during his run on the show.
Fredericks had been scheduled to play at the Music Hall as the closing act of the Spring 2020 season, he said, but the COVID shutdown precluded that happening. It was to our benefit though, he told the audience. During the layoff, he was able to work on his guitar technique. He then performed an excellent, as yet untitled instrumental song he had written recently.
The sold out crowd at the Music Hall appreciated Fredericks' performance, and gave the singer a standing ovation at the end of the show. He rewarded the audience with an encore, a rendition of the Bob Marley classic, "Three Little Birds," inviting the crowd to sing along to close out the evening.
In this reviewer’s opinion, Sawyer Fredericks’ performance at the Oswego Music Hall was outstanding. We wish the young man great success and wish him well on his upcoming late-winter tour, which begins on March 16 at City Winery in Boston. His latest EP, The Golden Tree, is due out on Friday, February 24.