Spotlight: Sarah Darling's 'Blackbird' Soars
Spotlight: Sarah Darling's 'Blackbird' Soars

Country Newcomer Working on Album With Producer Dann Huff

During February's Country Radio Seminar, there was a very loud buzz around Music City concerning Sarah Darling. Currently in the studio wrapping up a new album, the year has been filled with one career highlight after the other for the Iowa native, and she's grateful for each step along the way.

"There have been so many great things that have happened in the past year," the singer told Billboard. "It's all been so incredible." Everything kind of started with the video for "Something to Do With Your Hands," which received maximum exposure on many video channels. "Then, after that, I partnered up with the Crock-Pot brand, and that was an incredible way to stay out there, as well," she admits. But, she says the thing she is most excited about is who is behind the board of her upcoming album for Black River Entertainment, due later this year: Dann Huff.

"It's an exciting time," she said. "We're working on the record right now."

Though the release of the first single from her new album is a few weeks away, she currently can be heard on radio stations performing the Beatles' classic "Blackbird." The track was from the Let Us In Nashville -- A Tribute to Linda McCartney charity album, which was released last November. Though not intended for airplay, the singer says that several stations have jumped on the song. "The cool thing about that is that it has organically gotten some airplay on Sirius / XM - The Highway. That was a great surprise."

What was it like to remake a song by a band like the Beatles? "It's scary," she confirms. "I'll be honest with you, anytime you are messing with a song from one of the biggest bands in the world, it can be a little nerve wracking, It's one of my favorite songs. I begged to do that one, as all of the artists on there got to pick a McCartney song. All of the money benefits a charity called the Women And Cancer Fund. I never thought it would get airplay or anything. Dann was more nervous as I was, as he played the guitar part. There was a sense of 'Let's not mess this up, because it's such an amazing song."

Darling admits to being drawn to the classics, referencing her frequent performances at the Grand Ole Opry. She admits to being blown away by the support she has received there - especially from one of the cast's best golf players! "I love playing the Opry. To me, it's what country music is all about, and I love being a part of that family, and being asked to play there. The Opry is something that my grandfather loves, and I love it too. It's a tradition. When Vince Gill told me he liked a song that I had written, I couldn't believe it," she said.

We have had a chance to hear some of Darling's new music, and it's a pretty safe bet that given the quality of the tracks -- as well as the recent success that Black River has enjoyed with Craig Morgan, that Darling is headed places.

Wherever Sarah Darling goes, you can bet she's going to be taking her fans with her -- literally. She is one of the best examples of viral marketing out there these days, showing up on Twitter and Facebook. It's something that she feels is very important to build her career. "I think it's so important to be in contact with your fans, but to also talk about real things. I love to cook, so it's fun to interact with people on things like that. It's such a great thing when fans can really interact with the artist, because you can't fool your fans."

What are Darling's hopes for 2012? "I'd love to be on a tour," she admits with a smile. "That's something that I'm really striving for, right now. I also would love to just sit back and listen to this record, and be happy with the art that I've made. Honestly, I think that will be the best feeling in the world -- finishing a record with Dann Huff, and letting the world hear it. That will be the best feeling of all!"