Sawyer Fredericks: From Farmer to Superstar
I’ll admit it: I’m in love. Yeah, I’m old enough to be this boy’s grandmother, but I’m in love… with his soul. Sawyer Fredericks, raised on a farm in Upstate New York, is – without question - an old soul. His music and original lyrics speak far beyond the sixteen years he’s graced this Earth. And grace is what Sawyer Fredericks possesses. Grace. Soul. Humility. Innocence. Conviction. Truth. Truth to himself. And love. Even the covers this phenomenal talent sings have his stamp on them. He’s not like any other artist on the charts today.
And that’s why I love him. Sawyer Fredericks brings a lost art back to the stage and our hearts. His earthy voice pours folk back into music. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. With all the sex and foul language that litters today’s lyrics, the world needs to be reminded of what music is and should be: a message of beauty, vulnerability, pain, struggle, and goodness.
Sawyer does just that using his voice and guitar as the only vehicles. No fancy electronic gizmos. No gimmicks; just a simple boy with a heart-felt need to share with the world.
Oh yeah. In case you don’t know who Sawyer Fredericks is, he won Season Eight of The Voice, which had some very talented singers, but no one sounded like Sawyer. From the moment he took stage on the Blinds (Auditions), he had my heart.
Apparently, America agrees with me.
Since being introduced to this amazingly talented boy, I’ve spent hours on You Tube listening to and viewing home videos of his work. It’s interesting to note that The Voice talent scouts found Sawyer Fredericks on You Tube and invited him to audition. Can you imagine? How cool is that?
Here’s a video of his Blind Audition on The Voice:
Check Out This 4-Chair Turnaround
Sawyer Christopher Fredericks was born in Newtown, CT on March 31, 1999 to Carl and Kirsten Fredericks. He’s the youngest of three sons. The family spent some time in Roxbury, CT until they moved to Windrake Farm in Fultonville, NY in 2007. He tends the farm alongside his mom, dad, and brothers Skyler and Aric. Sawyer has named every one of the farm animals and can most likely be heard singing while he tends to the cows and collects eggs.
Sawyer has been playing guitar since 2010, when he was just 12 years old. Since then he’s written over three dozen songs and has performed at local farmers markets, open mic nights and other local venues. In 2013 he released his first full length CD “Out My Window”, featuring 15 original songs.
Enjoy the following video montage of various performances before appearing on The Voice:
Do Yourself a Favor and Spend the Time Watching This Amazing Kid Perform
Two of Sawyer’s favorite artists are American folk singer/song writer Ray LaMontagne and the legendary band Creedence Clearwater Revival. His rendition of LaMontagne’s “Trouble” is poignant and emotional, keeping his fans and the judges captivated with his style.
Beginning with Season Seven, The Voice finalists are now encouraged to sing an original song in addition to the covers they perform on the season finale. This year, Sawyer was given the honor of singing “Please”, written by Ray LaMontagne. Needless to say, he was thrilled. In an interview with Hollywood Life, Sawyer had this to say about that:
“As far as I know, the song was written especially for me. I got a text from Ray and he sent me the song that he wanted me to record. Just getting that was amazing. I’m just so happy right now!”— Sawyer Fredericks
Take a minute to listen to Sawyer’s performance:
"Please" Written by Ray LaMontagne for Sawyer Fredericks
Another stellar moment leading up to Sawyer’s win was the opportunity to sing a medley with legendary John Fogerty, formerly of CCR. You can tell they had a blast:
Imagine Sharing the Stage With This Music Legend!
Folk Singers Wear Their Hats WellClick thumbnail to view full-size
10 Song Medley
What Will the Future Bring?
For Sawyer Christopher Fredericks, the future is bright. His unique voice and soulful performances took him above the pop, rock, and country singers on The Voice. That speaks volumes for his talent and music in general. He is the beginning of a trend to send music back in time when artists had something to say and America needed – yearned – to listen.
With music greats such as Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and Joan Baez now taking residence in the dusty archives of radio – most often only coming out to play in Baby Boomer’s homes - Sawyer Fredericks has the heart and soul to bring folk music back to life. I have no doubt fame will not squelch the humble young man that he is; his feet are firmly planted in the soil of his roots. He will continue to sing to his cows and chickens and pour the wisdom of his old soul into the music the world so desperately needs.
Can’t you just imagine a folk revival on his parents’ 88-acre farm in Upstate New York? Now there’s an idea!
P.S. I reached out to Sawyer requesting an interview but I’ve not heard back. I’m sure he’s taking a much needed break. If I do hear from him, I’ll surely do a follow-up article.
Shauna L Bowling
Refining, Defining, or Rhyming
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Great Place for a Folk Revival, Don't You Think?
© 2015 Shauna L Bowling