The last few weeks have been very busy week. I played two shows, had a photo shoot, and finished recording session in NYC with my best friends, “sisters three” for their album. Both shows, though very different, were filled with people who really listened to the performance… aka fans! I can only hope that i touched their hearts the way they did mine. The photo shoot took place in Manyunk, Pa., a really cool city that borders Philly…the studio was in a gutted apartment that had been cleared out for the sake of photography. My buddy Justin Adams was the photographer… a brilliant one btw…the night was definitely one that will be a lasting memory. The week ended with some hardcore laughing!
I also recorded a song with “Sisters 3” on their upcoming album. They have been my best friends now for about 11 years! We pretty much giggled our way through the session… which was all caught on camera btw… our friend Marisa was sweet and let us crash at her house even though we showed up at 3:30am! We had to drive through the ghetto in queens to get there…scary!!… the next morning GABY HOFFMAN was our waitress at a small breakfast place in brooklyn!! crazy right? I love being a musician! What other job could have given me that week!
Sandpoint, Idaho: I performed (for the first time) at the Sandpoint Blues Festival with the outstanding Keb Mo! All I can say is “wow”…just “wow”. I was so impressed by him and his audience! The festival was held alongside a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. It was all-around a breathtaking event! After my performance I sat at the merchandise table and signed CD’s for fans for almost 2 hours! I met some really great fans both new and old. After the signing I sat in the field and watched Keb Mo perform… his stage presence is freaking awesome, I was blown away!
Next stop was The Birchmere in Alexandra, VA. I was opening up for Jonny Lang, who just so happens to be one of my favorite people to tour with! His audience has always treated me with love and respect and for that, I am grateful. What a great night!
We then drove to the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, CT. I actually played there with Jonny last year on Valentine’s Day. That show was a definite success and so was this one. Jonny always fills the place, and the crowd there is always more than attentive.
(Photo credit: Jim Rinaldi)
My last show on this mini-tour was at the Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH. The venue is an old theatre with high ceilings and opera booths! One of my favorite parts about touring is having the time after sound-check and before the show to explore the town I am in. I LOVE clothes so I always find myself checking out the local vintage/thrift stores. I came across a great little shop in Portsmouth called Second Time Around. Everyone there is so friendly so I started chatting with two of the girls that work there. I explained that I was on the hunt for accessories for an outfit I was wearing for my show later that night. They asked me where I was playing, so I told them I was the opener for Jonny Lang. They were both huge fans of his and were bummed because they couldn’t get tickets before the show sold out. Since I had a few spots open on my guest list, I happily added their names. One of the girls told me she wanted to cry because she was soo happy - and that MADE my day! Needless to say… I felt pretty cool. After the show I saw them on the street as I exited the venue and they promised me that they were now my fans as well! Great town, great people, great music, great night!
(Photo credit: Jim Rinaldi)
The tour was short, and a little bit of a tease… I can’t wait for the release of my album so I can be on the road even more! Thank you to all of the wonderful people at those shows. You are the reason I love my job!!
The other night I was hanging out with one of my closest girlfriends at a local dive bar in Philly, a place I frequent a lot, sipping one of my favorite summer beverages. I think our conversation topic drifted towards relationships in life… or something that turned into a blur as my ears quickly focused on a melody coming from the jukebox behind us… it’s a familiar tune …I see my friend still talking but other faces replace hers…
T Bone Burnett, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss.
It’s funny how a song can magically take you somewhere else… this particular song took me back to the best summer of my life (this far)… when I, Sharon Little, was on tour playing with some of the artists that inspire me the most. My memories of that tour always feel like they are happening in a very fast slow motion…
I hear Jay Bellerose on drums like it’s in my heart, T Bone’s guitar in my fingertips, Alison’s voice in my chest, and Robert’s passion in my soul…
And with the drop of that quarter in the jukebox my thoughts are instantly transported from being in my favorite dive bar in Philly to sitting side stage at Madison Square Garden in NYC watching their performance with every bit of sight I was born with, knowing even then, that I will only have a memory to return to in the future.
My friend is still talking…
I am in my tour bus…
My heart beats fast as I am remembering the thrill of waking up in different cities, meeting rock stars, movie stars, feeling like one myself…
My friend is still talking… I’m nodding my head in agreement, but really I’m only agreeing to one of the sweetest drum beats I’ve ever heard that’s serenading the bar behind me…
I am trying to listen to her but the last 50 seconds of the song is playing and they are rocking out!
I have a tear I want to shed…
I refuse it. (after all no one else at the bar knows what I am thinking about… maybe they would assume I was crazy or maybe they’d assume this wasn’t my first Hoegaarden!)
The song ends…
I feel so lucky.
I was the only person in the bar (or in this entire city) to have had that experience…
I not only feel their songs… but I had the chance to travel and experience it with them…they were very sweet to me, and I am incredibly grateful for that experience. When they included my band and I along to their events… I felt invited. I felt like I was a part of something.
My friend is still talking…
The last chord sounds and I return to the conversation with full attention. My memories of that tour have and will continue to inspire my career as an artist, remembering how humble and sincere everyone was no matter what, or who they were, sticks out the most…
I am using these memories like keys, opening doors to the future. One night in Nashville, at the summit center, Robert Plant walked into my dressing room right before I went on stage… he took my hand, kissed my cheek, and said “Sharon I wish you the best of luck going from strand to strand in your career.”
I am at the beginning of my next strand…
“Just because things don’t work out the way you planned them, doesn’t mean they didn’t work out well”
May 19, 2010
From Philly to Raleigh, NC – Artsplosure
Friday: 12 hours of driving + insane traffic = ROAD GAMES! Most of them I probably shouldn’t repeat… I will just say that the level of maturity was quickly dropping with every hour that passed. We arrived in Raleigh and stayed up till 3am laughing (my band is hilarious!).
Saturday: Woke up bright & early on Saturday and I must admit I was a little nervous approaching the stage with a brand new band (it was the first time that we had ever played together… besides the two previous rehearsals in Philly)… and we were exhausted. On stage the nervousness dissipated, and the performance was a total blast!
The audience was awesome… throughout our set people started moving closer to the stage and there was lots of dancin’ going on! What a warm welcome! It was magical – you guys are magical – thank you, thank you!
Thanks to all the people who waited in line, thanks to everyone for buying my CD (and for saying hello) – it means the world to me! It is humbling and a beautiful feeling to see and feel that!
Special shout-out to the beautiful people at The Pit BBQ Raleigh! Yum! The chef even autographed a menu for me ;-) After BBQ we flagged down a rickshaw, and rode in the pouring rain back to our hotel… it rocked! Thanks Raleigh, NC for your southern hospitality!
Sharon and The Pit Master, Raleigh, NC