Sara Shiloh Rae grew up in L.A. and North Carolina steeped in American folk music. Her earliest musical roots were studying guitar at McCabe’s and her first live performance playing at the legendary Ash Grove. In her teens she discovered classical music and went on to devote herself to opera.
After majoring in voice at the Manhattan School of Music, she moved to Europe and became an opera singer. Receiving three nominations for Singer of the Year in the German opera magazine Opernwelt, she was regularly invited to guest with orchestras such as the BBC Scottish Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, the L.A. Philharmonic, and at theaters such as the Hamburg State Opera, Theater an der Wien and the New Israeli Opera. Sara became most well-known for her fearless interpretations of contemporary composers.
When her classical career was detoured due to Covid-19, Sara reconnected with her Americana roots. During ten months of isolation in a rural village in France, a long-distance romance blossomed with the California based banjo player, Max Hoetzel. The two began a musical collaboration, initially remotely but ultimately writing and recording together on a farm in California. Their interpretations of standards such as Johnny Mullins' “Blue Kentucky Girl” Townes van Zandt’s “ White Freightliner Blues” and Peter Rowan’s “Walls of Times” landed them in Bluegrass Today, as well as in the indie music zine Noteworthy Music.
Now engaged to be married, Ms. Rae and Mr. Hoetzel have just written and recorded their first album. The self-titled debut, Sara Shiloh Rae & Bluebird Junction, offers mesmerizing vocals and razor-sharp storytelling in a classic alt-country aesthetic. It also features some of genre’s most sought after musicians, i.e. Alex Hargreaves on fiddle (Kacey Musgraves and Sarah Jarosz), Mike Robinson on pedal steel (Sarah Jarosz, Railroad Earth), veteran drummer Chad Cromwell (Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill), and Myles Sloniker on bass, as well as special guests Jake Workman on guitar (Paper Piano), Jacob Jolliff on Mandolin and Molly Aronson on Cello (Milwaukee).
When she isn’t writing or performing, Sara Shiloh Rae spends her time herding goats, wrangling Anatolian Shepherds, and learning about regenerative agriculture.