Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Maia Sharp -- Fine Upstanding Citizen

I have been following Maia Sharp since she released her first CD "Hardly Glamour" which featured her first independent radio hit "I Need This to be Love" in 1997. There was something undeniably remarkable about Maia's lyrics and musicianship that latched onto my interest. I continued playing "Hardly Glamour" and listening to her play sax (her first love which launched her career), flute, clarinet, guitar, keyboards, and sing until she released her second solo effort "Maia Sharp" several years later.

In between solo CD's, she did a CD with Art Garfunkel titled "Everything Waits to be Noticed" and harmonized with him on several songs she also co-wrote. Cher recorded "Don't Come Around Tonight" from Maia's "Hardly Glamour" and other artists began to really notice her songwriting.

She's written for The Dixie Chics ("Home"), Bonnie Raitt, Lisa Loeb, Edwin McCain ("Say Anything"), David Wilcox, and Kim Richey. She recently toured with Bonnie Raitt who had this to say about her: "Maia is making some of the most innovative and soulful music around with songs that are head and shoulders above the rest. She has become one of my favorite artists. Fine Upstanding Citizen is a brilliant album, start to finish."

I've had the privilege of seeing Maia live several times over the years and it's wonderful to see the audiences growing with their appreciation for her work. She is, as they say, a musician's musician. At the November show in Pittsburgh, she opened for Raitt to an audience that knew very little about her work. I watched the audience reaction when she stepped away from her keyboards to wail on the horn and they were as enthralled as I was when I first saw her perform. She amazes with lyrics and harmonies that cascade, crescendo, and ebb back and forth between your heart and mind.

In an earlier show this year at Club Cafe (fabulous small venue), she performed with her Dad, Randy, in an intimate show that included lots of dialogue with the audience about her songs and growing up in a musical family. She autographed CD's afterward and was really personable with everyone that wanted to talk to her. Her voice, in person, is just as saltry and intriguing as it is on her CD's.

She gives special thanks to her "sweetheart for life (yeah, you're stuck with me) for your unconditional, sometimes unbelievable love and support" on the credits for "Fine Upstanding Citizen" so I guess she's off the market, ladies. *wink*

If you would like to find out more about Maia and listen to her music, please visit: She writes constantly so perhaps we'll get some new material soon. I can only hope. She continues to improve with each effort.


Blogger Ellen said...

nice blog. Maia reached me while watching *the mighty*.I left the movie went out and bought the soundtrack for:parting request.It was maybe 1999...not as early as you.
The red dress song hits close to home for me!
I play clarinet, flute, piano and guitar, I'll be back to read ya ;)
Do you know if their is a recording of her with Patty Griffin?

11:37 PM  
Blogger Matthew Ward said...

Yes. Maia Sharp has the most amazing way with lyrics. I'll listen to songs from different artists and think they're amazing, just to look up the songwriter and find it to be Maia. I became familiar with Maia through Bonnie Raitt who has recorded several of her songs. Indeed, Maia is a great talent. I'm hoping to get the CD soon.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Thanks Ellen! I do not believe they have ever written together but they did tour together. You might be able to dig around in some of the Maia or Patty boards to find a tape of them singing together but they haven't officially released any song together. Patty is another long time favorite of mine.

7:43 PM  
Blogger bruce said...

Stacy, I wasn't sure if you were going to revisit my blog, so I thought I'd post this in both places: You're right... different strokes... I stand by my opinion. I really love Bruce's D&D. It is so much better than earlier solo efforts. As for Maia, I was on the fence about putting her into the top 20. I really love the CD and I have enjoyed seeing her over the years.

12:30 PM  

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