Sin Silver came to San Francisco from County Clare in Ireland six years ago with a dream, an enormous talent, and what many would call a fire in the belly to be heard. Since then, she has made a large swath of fans in Contra Costa County, where she finds herself these days, one song at a time, one fan at a time.
The Concord resident is glad to be here, loves the diversity and the food of the city, and the way hillside mansions sit not far from more modest homes.
From these and other inspirations around her, Silver gets her songs. She plays in bars and other venues as a solo artist, in which she performs a number of selections of other people's music. But whenever she can, Silver throws in one of her songs, and these days it is common for people to call out for them by name. That is the food by which a songwriter’s soul is fed.
“I’ve played music since I was four,” Silver said. “My mother is a concert pianist and music teacher. But I never performed in Ireland. I didn’t do that until I got to the states.”
And how does she find America?
“There are parts of America I adore,” she said, “the diversity, the feeling that anything can be around the corner. Ireland can be predictable. America is not. And the people are very kind. On the other hand, the divisions are very scary. And the poverty. You don’t want to be poor in the U.S.”
Her influences include Sinead O’Connor, Jack White, Elton John, Neil Young, Tori Amos and Joni Mitchell. She also loves Chopin, and is an avid reader of poetry, especially William Butler Yeats.
“I love Billy,” she said.
Her three-piece band is called Sin Silver and the Avenue.
“The band is my attempt to bring my original music to the fore,” she said. “After six years of playing bars, doing cover material, I’m trying to get my originals out there.”
Her songs are often about people who have been forgotten, people in the shadows.
Silver performs Friday evening at Armando’s in Martinez. She often plays at Auburn James Winery in Danville. Her band will appear at the Fireside Lounge and High Street Station, both in Alameda.
"I want to tour the world,” she said, “and play on Saturday Night Live, and have people listen and feel it. Because we’re all looking to be understood in our own way.”