SARAH HARMER with DANNY MICHEL at the Danforth Music Hall (147 Danforth), Friday (March 2), sold out; and Saturday (March 3), $20. 416-870-8000. simply put, sarah harmer is hot. Since the major-label re-release of her lovely You Were Here solo debut in September -- through Universal here and Rounder stateside -- the singer/songwriter and guitarist has amassed a pile of successes.
Commercial radio and video have jumped in feet first. Time Magazine placed her disc in the top 10 of 2000. Rolling Stone and the New York Times raved. Her tours, both as headliner and support act for Billy Bragg and the Blokes, have sold clean.
She's received two Juno nominations for best pop album and best new solo artist and will perform at the ceremony Sunday (March 4) as part of a salute to Bruce Cockburn, who's being inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Harmer also backed Dar Williams on the Bruce Springsteen tribute disc, Badlands. And it's only March.
By May, Harmer will be cutting deals in England. "Basically, I'm a free agent outside of North America," she says from Ottawa, "so I'm getting ready to shop the record internationally right now."
Which is ambitious considering that You Were Here has now been available for a full year, having been offered exclusively through Harmer's Web site (www.sarahharmer.com) before the majors came along.
You'd think Harmer would be aching to record new material -- and truthfully, she is. But she also knows there's no time like the present. So the Weeping Tile leader -- who reconvened the band at Christmas for a benefit gig supporting the Salvation Army -- tours on, pledging to re-record with her Kingston compadres after cutting another solo disc.
So, of all the accolades and achievements, what's been the most surprising?
"That my van is still running," Harmer laughs. "No joke."*
email@example.comSarah Harmer's sudden ascent By KIM HUGHES