We Love Music: Sanders Bohlke

Photo Credit: Caleb Chancey

Photo Credit: Caleb Chancey

There’s something enchanting about an artist who can fill a room with just his voice, his guitar, and give you goosebumps. Sanders Bohlke is one of those artists. Several years have passed since his debut folk album was first issued, but Bohlke now finds himself with a new album – “Ghost Boy” – which was released earlier this year. He’s also on a national tour with fellow singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata at the moment.

Bohlke has been praised for his passion and honesty when it comes to songwriting and performance which is likely how he ended up on tour with Yamagata who has a similar reputation. You can catch the pair live at The Birchmere this Monday (July 8).

You released “Ghost Boy” — your first full-length album in years — this February. How does it feel to have a new full-length release under your belt and what does this album mean to you as an artist?

This album in particular means a lot because it took a long time to create.  Between my first and second full-lengths, I went through so many phases artistically. For Ghost Boy, I honed in on material that I loved as a group.

I also feel like I have a better understanding of what it takes to create a record from start to finish.  I enjoyed it.

Where do you draw inspiration for your songs from? Do the stories tend to bemore personal or do you prefer to take a more universal approach when it comes to lyric writing?

I tend to lean more towards writing about things that aren’t happening to me directly.  I guess the situations are “personal” in that I’m drawn to write about them, but I don’t really write about things that I actually experience, save the occasional dream or nightmare.  As far as inspiration, I would say landscape.  I wrote Ghost Boy in Virginia, which, to me, is one of the most beautiful places to write.

If you could co-write a song and/or perform a duet with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

D’Angelo. I don’t think I really need to explain.

You’re currently touring with one of the finest songstresses of our generation, Miss Rachael Yamagata. What have you learned from her both on the road and on stage during your time together? Do you have a favorite tour memory from your time spent together thus far?

She is maybe the sweetest person I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. She is so talented, and so professional, and such a wonderful performer. I feel like I’m learning how to be a better performer from watching her.  And she’s so good with her fans, and you can see that reflected in their loyalty to her music. She’s amazing.

What do you hope listeners take away from “Ghost Boy” as an album?

I just want people to get out of it whatever they expect to get out of a record when they buy one.  I know that when I buy a record, no matter the circumstances, I have these emotional expectations, and when those expectations are met, it really makes for a wonderful experience.  I just hope Ghost Boy can be that wonderful experience.

Rachel moved to DC in the fall of 2005 to study Journalism and Music at American University. When she’s not keeping up with the latest Major League Baseball news, she works on making music as an accomplished singer-songwriter and was even a featured performer/speaker at TEDxDupont Circle in 2012. Rachel has also contributed to The Washington Examiner and MASN Sports’ Nationals Buzz as a guest blogger. See why she loves DC. E-Mail: rachel@welovedc.com.

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