An Evening with AG, Maia Sharp and Garrison Starr
3227 N. Davidson St.
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Watch & Listen
Adrianne, a lifelong painter, fills each canvas with a single lyric; one exquisite and magnified particle of a love song. It’s a perfect fate for such words, to hang above the places where love and loneliness actually occur, bearing acrylic witness and reassurance: “you’re not alone yet, I’m still here.” It is the same of her music: Adrianne picks the one line that dares to be everything, and then she picks another, arranging them until they’re a full flipbook narrative— every layer breathing in unison and changing the air around you.
Talking to Adrianne about her new album Me After You, it’s clear that the concept of “need” is central to the discussion, as this is a collective work that needed to be made, and needed to be grown exactly as it was; developing from a hope and solo commitment to a project that, through a three month Pledge Campaign, all of her fans helped woo. It’s no secret that as a fan, there’s simultaneous bliss, curiosity and apprehension at the announcement of a new solo album from one’s favorite artist; perhaps even more so when said artist has spent the past few years as one quarter of the internationally-acclaimed Indie Rock super-group The Rescues. It’s like seeing a loved one after she’s undergone a glamorous makeover; the fickle conundrum of wanting her to look better but still, well, “like herself.” What’s remarkable about Me After You, as fans of Adrianne’s previous six records will see, is that somehow Adrianne appears the most “like herself” as she has at any point in her distinguished career.
Working with Los Angeles-based co-producer, writer, multi-instrumentalist and now friend Justin Glasco, Adrianne took a collaborative role in all playing, recording, production, mixing and engineering. However, even not knowing this about the project, one can hear the confidence, cohesion and evolved creative identity that bone it. It’s an identity that’s special in today’s music industry— not at all the strange life-form that emerges after a dozen or so tracks are aimlessly bound; instead, a pre-formed entity, a heartful mediator asking the tough questions and measuring patiently.
What do you do after scoring 2 top 10 Triple A singles on your latest release, headlining the country in support of that album, then taking off to tour with Bonnie Raitt on a 21 city run, all the while landing a cut on Trisha Yearwood's CD, three songs on Bonnie Raitt's latest, three tracks on Edwin McCain's current album (lending your vocals to all three releases) and getting a song on Mindy Smith's forthcoming record? Well if you're Maia Sharp you start your own label, put out an acoustic album, tour behind it and then head back into the studio to make your 2007 label release.
Sharp's last studio album, 2005's Fine Upstanding Citizen (KOCH) garnered her critical raves and nationwide airplay on the singles "Something Wild" and "Red Dress" achieving top 10 chart status at R&R on both songs . Now with 4 national label releases (3 critically acclaimed solo albums and a 4 th collaborative effort with Art Garfunkel) to her credit she found herself in a position where most artists may have felt entitled to a small break. Her next national label release in
early '07 would have presented the ideal time to stop and smell the roses rather than race past them in a flurry of tour bus exhaust. However, with a growing demand for the songstress to perform, including 2 months opening for and singing with Bonnie Raitt in addition to her own headline shows, Sharp found herself with a lot of fans wanting more music faster than a label's pace would allow.
From that demand the idea for Eve & The Red Delicious was born. "The tour offers kept coming in and more and more people were emailing me through the website, through myspace, coming up to me at shows etc. asking why I couldn't do a record a year." Sharp explains, "I've been fortunate to always have a label doing the behind-the-scenes work while still giving me creative control but the drawback is that I'm at the mercy of their schedules. With 4 album's worth of label knowledge under my belt and time between F.U.C . and the next label record, I thought, why not take advantage and do an in-between cd that's more reflective of the live show. I'm writing enough to release new material more often and I'm lucky enough to have loyal fans that buy every record. It quickly became a no brainer"
It's that relentless drive that led Sharp to record an acoustic album with 5 new songs and 2 new versions of fan favorites from previous albums ( Hardly Glamour Ark 21 Records, 1998 and 2005's Fine Upstanding Citizen on KOCH). Eve & The Red Delicious (taken from a line from the impossibly hooky "Whole Flat World") was done as a duo with bass player Darren Embry. "If I was going to pull this off it needed to be as true to the live performances as possible and with Darren's top shelf vocals and musicianship I feel we were able to accomplish that and have fun doing it." Sharp & Embry met while she and Jonatha Brooke were touring together. "I'm a huge Jonatha fan and I fully appreciate how musically challenging playing with her could be, so when I saw Darren up there slaying those bass and vocal parts I knew I had to work with him."
The album features Sharp on guitars, Rhodes, piano, saxophone (her first instrument) and percussion performing songs she wrote alone or co-wrote with, among others, acclaimed Americana songbird Kim Richey, Timbuk 3's Pat MacDonald and Bonnie Raitt collaborator David Batteau.
The Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist has seen about two dozen of her songs recorded by artists that run the genre gamut, from chart-topping pop acts to Rock and Roll Hall of Famers including Bonnie Raitt , Trisha Yearwood , Art Garfunkel, Edwin McCain, The Dixie Chicks, Paul Carrack, Cher and Mindy Smith to name a few.
Maia has written with Carole King, Jules Shear, Timothy B. Schmitt, David Wilcox, Amanda Marshall, Edwin McCain, Lisa Loeb, Mindy Smith, Howard Jones, The Go Go's, Billy Mann, Paul Carrack and many more.
In 1997, she signed with Miles Copeland's Ark 21 label, on which her debut CD, Hardly Glamour , was released. It scored a Triple A radio hit with the rugged and haunting "I Need This to Be Love." Later that year, she was nominated for Triple-A radio's Artist of the Year and Cher recorded a version of one of the cd's highlights, "Don't Come Around Tonight" on It's a Man's World.
Sharp then joined up with Art Garfunkel and Buddy Mondlock for their EMI/Blue Note trio project Everything Waits to Be Noticed co-writing several tracks, trading off lead vocals and harmonies with the legend and lending her saxophone chops to the project. Summarizing his time with Maia, Garfunkel simply says, "In the tradition of great female artists, Karla Bonoff, Bonnie Raitt, Christine McVie, Shawn Colvin, Sarah McLachlan.....now enter Maia Sharp."
At the same time, Concord Records released her self titled second solo album Maia Sharp to critical acclaim. The singles "Willing to Burn" and "Crimes of the Witness" both landed in the top 10 in the Triple A radio format. This was a very busy time for Sharp promoting both the Garfunkel project and her own simultaneously. After almost a year of off and on touring Sharp was back in the studio to record what ultimately became '05's Fine Upstanding Citzen on KOCH.
Look for East coast headline tour dates to promote Eve & The Red Delicious as well as upcoming Canadian dates with Bonnie Raitt in October.
It looks like, for now, the only roses Sharp will be able to stop and smell will be the ones backstage in her dressing room.
"can we get a copy of your bio for our blah, blah, blah?"
do you know how many times i've been asked this question in my career? too damn many. and every time, somebody writes a bio that nobody gives two shits about because who really cares, right? well, here's my bio as i see it now.
i started out in this business when i was about 15 in hernando, ms. i played clubs in memphis in high school, started touring in college and got signed to geffen records in 1996 at 21. since that time, i've been signed to 2 other record labels and have been touring consistently in all kinds of capacities, sometimes thriving, sometimes failing miserably and wanting to quit this business and crawl in a hole. i've been disillusioned, bitter, beat up and to hell and back in my career, but i've never lost faith in music. how it heals me all the time. and what it means to all sorts of people.
to this point, i've released 6 full-length records and several eps in between. i've toured with my idols in amphitheaters and i've played for 12 people in charlotte, nc. (i did get a standing ovation in charlotte! it's amazing how loud 12 people can be when they're really excited.)
these are really the particulars, aren't they?
i'm an artist. it's what i do. i love my job, but i hate the music business. my goal is to work as hard as i can to make the best music i can and to represent myself in the most honest and authentic light possible. if i'm doing that, i'm happy.
it's challenging to keep a foot on the machine pedal but also keep a foot grounded in the soil of inspiration and perpetual hope.
sometimes it's not possible. but you keep moving forward because that's what keeps us going. something magical. that's what i live for. what everybody lives for, i think. there's a line in "a beautiful mind" that i always remember… the wife is at the end of her rope with her husband's disease, his disillusionment, and she says "i have to believe extraordinary things are possible".
i feel grateful to have survived and maintained a career for almost 20 years in this business, and it never ceases to amaze me how many times you can reinvent yourself if you're willing.
SUNDRY ACCOMPLISHMENTS & CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
* I am very clean
* Have lived in Memphis, Nashville and Los Angeles
* Have driven 547 cars, owned 2 of them – the first i bought with my own money was a 1990 mitsubishi eclipse
* Co-produced music for Margaret Cho's record with my pal Meghan Toohey
* Have loved touring, recording, and playing Scrabble with Mary Chapin Carpenter
* Have had music in TV shows like "Life Unexpected" and "The Hills"
* Accomplished hypochondriac with road rage
* Toured opening for Melissa Etheridge
* Steve Earle produced 2 tracks on "Songs from Takeoff to Landing," toured and sang with Steve on and off for about a year and a half
* After I watched "Super Size Me" I went straight to McDonald's. Twice.
* Recorded "Plover" with Glen Phillips (of Toad the Wet Sprocket) and Neilson Hubbard.
* Formed the band Among The Oak & Ash with Josh Joplin
* Definitely hit on Katy Perry before she got famous
* Started the North LaBrea All Star Conquistadors with Gabriel Mann, Jay Nash, and Adrianne
* Played in the band This Living Hand where I met Neilson Hubbard and Clay Jones
* Made records for Geffen, Back Porch (Virgin), and Vanguard
* Had a hit song Superhero – kinda fun when it aired in ABCs coverage of the Women's World Cup Soccer
* I own "Remember The Titans," "A Few Good Men," Jerry Maguire" and "Lady and the Tramp" on VHS.
* Played the first two years of Lilith Fair (when it was cool)
* Went to Ole Miss – for a little while anyway, though I'm not sure if that's really an accomplishment as much as a fact
* Worked at Ardent Records and got to hang out with Jody Stephens of Big Star
The Evening Muse
Mon, February 2
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