UW-Eau Claire alum and folk singer Sarah Lou Richards set to visit campus this March

During her tour of the Midwest, Richards will make a stop in a creative writing class

More stories from Alyssa Anderson

Getting Weird
December 13, 2018

Sarah Lou Richards strikes a pose for a photo courtesy of her website, sarahlourichards.com

When someone first listens to Sarah Lou Richards’ music, it’s nearly impossible to believe such a beautifully twangy, “country” voice could emanate from a woman who once attended the same northern Wisconsin college we do now.

Wisconsin native and UW-Eau Claire alum, Richards made her folk music debut in 2009 with the release of her EP “Emerald City.” Since then, Richards’ musical career has been moving steadily upward.

Richards released her first full-length album “Ruby Red Shoes” in 2010 and regularly performs across the country from New York City to Minneapolis in either small, cozy cafes or big-name music festivals like SxSW.

Yet, in the face of all this success, Richards has not forgotten her Eau Claire roots. On March 16, Richards is set to make an appearance on campus to have a workshop with a creative writing class.

Creative writing professor B.J. Hollars said he met Richards after she performed during the past summer’s outdoor concert series. In October, Richards held a Skype workshop in one of Hollars’ classes where students discussed lyricism while analyzing some of Richards’ own songs.

This semester, however, Hollars said students will be lucky enough to speak with Richards in person to delve deeper into lyricism and songwriting.

“There is a lot of value in directly engaging with writers,” Hollars said. “It is always great when we can use alums as examples or inspirations for current students.”

In the midst of her Midwest tour, Richards is set to perform in places big and small, from Chicago to Menomonie, to showcase her new album “The Girl Behind the Curtain.”

Hollars said Richards is expected to spend the entirety of March touring around Wisconsin, hopefully performing a show or two in Eau Claire.

“Sarah Lou Richards is a good example of someone who is dedicated to their craft and took risks,” Hollars said. “She has had a lot of success in the music world and continues to have more success.”

Hollars said it is important to teach students their dreams matter, and Richards is a good person to look to for inspiration.