For years, Tallahassee's Sarah Mac Band has seemed just on the verge of national success. Now, the band is headed to a place that has launched many musicians to superstardom.
That place is Austin, Texas and the yearly South by Southwest music showcase. Sarah Mac Band bassist Claire Swindell is giving North Florida singer/songwriter Grant Peebles most of the credit for the chance to play this world-famous festival.
"He's played SXSW a few years in a row now, so he is not going this year and he connected us with the right people," Swindell said.
For lead singer and band namesake Sarah Mac, it's made possible in large part by that support of fellow musicians.
"It's shocking if you look back at all the opportunities that have come directly from Grant Peebles putting in a good word for us,” Mac said, “and we've had a couple of things when the New 76ers put in a good word for us and I think that's just one of the awesome things about Tallahassee music."
Swindell compared the experience to an audition for big-time, possibly national and beyond, recognition.
"To get the ear of NPR National Music and a major music publication or something like that. That would be huge and those guys are out there. So, will they come to one of our showcases? We don't know, but they're out there, so it's exciting to be in the same proximity to so many of those guys,” said Swindell.
She added she, Sarah Mac and guitarist Charlie Vanture will have three shots at making at impression during their SXSW appearance.
"We have two showcases on Wednesday, March 18th and one on Thursday, the 19th."
The band hopes at least a few local fans can also make the Austin trek to cheer them on. And for those who can't, Mac said there's always this week's preview at the Warehouse on Gaines Street.
"We have a show on Friday the 13th, where we will unveil our SXSW showcase set to see what they think."
There will be some old and brand new songs, she said, all presented with the added fire and adrenaline rush that comes when the fulfillment of a lifelong musical dream may be right over the horizon.