Poulette’s Promising Performance

Jennifer Rivera

As part of the Barge Canal Coffee Company’s Saturday Night Music Series, singer-songwriter and Colgate alum Sarah Poulette performed last Saturday, September 11. Although not a multi-platinum artist, the 2007 graduate did happily admit to being Colgate “born and bred” with her first and only CD being recorded at Colgate with thirteen original tracks.

Saturday’s performance included several of the songs off the CD entitled Chickenscratch, as well as a wide range of covers. The beginning of the mini-concert was shaky, but with time Poulette seemed to become more comfortable on stage and more confident in her abilities. She had a calming and somewhat quirky stage presence that seemed to fit right in with the overall tone of her songs. Trained as a classical guitarist, her musicianship was excellent and drew attention from some of her less-than-stellar vocal moments. At times, the strain placed upon Poulette’s voice was audible and the jazzy approach and strong vibrato seemingly characteristic of the artist’s style seemed at ends with her selected pieces. These problems were minor though and were often quickly rectified by her own self-editing.

Variation in the coffee shop performance kept the show interesting and engaging. Poulette’s renditions of the Muppet’s “The Rainbow Connection” and Elvis’s “Heartbreak Hotel” were creative, well arranged, and the two bookends of her entire act. Original songs such as “Body Of My Guitar,” “Gray Days,” and “Showing That I Care” reflected different aspects of Poulette’s singing and song writing ability. Prefacing most of her self-written work were quick stories about the writing of the song, such as writing “Gray Days” while in her senior, off-campus apartment facing the Village Green.

By no means a polished and refined sound, Poulette’s music has a certain quality about it that charms in its own way. With strong jazz and folk-inspired vocals and impressive technical ability on the guitar, Poulette is a talented, unique and well-rounded singer-songwriter that Colgate should be proud to call one of its own.