With a well-received new album titled Feels Like Home, the Missouri native made a mark at country radio this summer with "Easy." Now she's back on the charts with "Callin' Me When I'm Lonely."
As the year winds down, she visited CMT to talk about her latest project, which she considers one of her best.
CMT: When some Nashville songwriters go in for a writing session, they'll talk to each other for a while about what's going on in their life, then they'll write the song. Did you do anything like that for the new album?
Crow: Actually, I did. The co-writing thing is so interesting because in my past, I'd typically go to the same couple of people that I have a good relationship with, writing-wise. This is different. What you do in Nashville typically is you write with two other writers. I guess the thought is that you're more apt to get something finished if there are more people there, or maybe you're more apt to come up with something different. I'm not exactly sure why that is.
But, yeah, I definitely talked about what I wanted to write about. Because for me, I've been around for a long time, and I didn't want to make a record for 16-year-old girls. I wanted to write about things that mean something to me, and I wanted it to be fun, obviously.
Fun is a consistent theme with you. Your records have always had some fun on them.
On a record, you definitely want to have something for everybody, I guess. It's probably a more mature record than maybe a record by someone who's just getting started, but I'm a single mom, and I wanted to write about that because there are a lot of us out there. I wanted to write about the things that matter to me. I think the songwriting is really better than any of my records.
In country, that's important for a listener to hear a song and feel like they know you better.
Yeah, and you can get away with a lot in pop. You have a lot of liberties there, particularly because they turn your vocals so far down, nobody can hear what you are saying.
I think in the rock world, you can have some mystery to your voice or persona. But in country, not as much. Do you feel like you have to be more social in country music?
Definitely, you have to get out and put yourself out there. The way it is in the country world is much more appealing to me than the way it is outside of the country world. The whole celebrity thing, I was always conflicted with that. I just couldn't understand how to have my life and have a certain amount of normalcy and anonymity and then have to market my personal life for public consumption. I couldn't do it.
And it's been great living in Nashville because I run into people at the grocery store that are well-known, and it's normal and it's cool. Then I go out and do radio tours and talk to programmers, and it's much more about relationships than it is about tabloids, I feel.
When the video for "Easy" was released, you became part of CMT's Next Women of Country campaign. What do you like about the Next Women of Country?
Listen, I'm just flattered that people are accepting me. I came in country through the backdoor. I wanted to be Emmylou [Harris], I wanted to be Linda Ronstadt, I wanted to hang out with people like Gram Parsons, and I wanted to be like the Rolling Stones. I wanted to make music like that -- like "Wild Horses" and "Sweet Virginia" and "Dead Flowers."
All of that was country to me, but it was country at a time when people didn't like country. That was sort of where I found myself. It was nice because that is the music I've always tried to make. And I needed to come over to this format to do that.
In the 1990s, Faith Hill cut "Somebody Stand by Me" and nailed it. How does it feel when somebody records one of your songs?
Well, when somebody like Faith Hill records something, it's definitely humbling. Johnny Cash recorded one of my songs ["Redemption Day"], and I still can't get over it. We actually perform that song in the show, and we have his voice singing that verse. It's just a cool thing because you can't underestimate the power of music -- what it can do for people and how it can affect people. When somebody else feels like a song is saying something that they want to say to their fans, it gives more life to it and it makes you feel like, "Wow, this isn't just all for me."
What was going through your mind the first time you heard him sing it?
I cried, man. I cried and cried. And I still cry sometimes when I hear it. I sang at his funeral. I sang at his wife's funeral. I know what the song meant to him, and it's a heavy thing for me.
You were able to get to know them. What are your memories of them?
They were a super, super-solid married couple, and I love that about them. They were both very intelligent. I met June first in '93. I went to do a radio show with her. ... I went on before her, then I wound up staying and playing with her, and she was fascinating.
She grew up in the '60s. She was from country royalty, and yet she took acting from Stella Adler with Marlon Brando and James Dean. She was very good friends with all those people. She dated [famed film director] Elia Kazan, and she was very sophisticated. She was in modeling. ... Then she came back into the [Carter Family] group and became the silly, simple, funny character. But she was wildly smart and entertaining and a great storyteller. He admired her, you could tell, up until the end.
[NEWS] 10 Best Country Albums of 2013 - "Feels Like Home" ranked #6
by Chuck Dauphine
"Some might have been a little skeptical about Crow releasing a country album, but it's amazing how in sync this is with some of her other work. The writing might be a little more first-person oriented, but a performance like "Shotgun" doesn't sound too removed from rockers like "Steve McQueen." Still, this set would have easily made the list if only for "Homecoming Queen" or the jaw-dropping "Waterproof Mascara." Welcome home, Ms. Crow. Stick around for awhile, because we like having you here!
[NEWS] Holiday Train Sheryl Crow show final tally: record $136,000
By Bob Shaw
The final tally for Saturday's Holiday Train fundraiser in Cottage Grove shows roughly $136,000 was raised, a record.
The fundraising got a boost from a free concert by pop singer Sheryl Crow and a $25,000 contribution from Canadian Pacific Railroad.
The railroad sponsors the annual Holiday Train, which makes stops in 150 cities in Canada and the U.S. At each stop money is raised for local food shelves, and the money raised in Cottage Grove supports the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St. Paul Park.
Food shelf director Michelle Rageth said Saturday's total shattered last year's record of $116,000. In addition, said Rageth, about 13,000 pounds of food and toiletries were gathered at the Saturday event. About 15,000 people attended.
Bob Shaw can be reached at 651-228-5433. Follow him at twitter.com/BshawPP.
“LIVE FROM THE ARTISTS DEN” MARKS 5TH ANNIVERSARY AND 50 EPISODES WITH SEVENTH SEASON
NEW SEASON PREMIERES IN FEBRUARY, WILL FEATURE SHERYL CROW, PHOENIX, SARA BAREILLES, VAMPIRE WEEKEND AND MORE
New York, NY (December 16, 2013)—This February, the seventh season of Live from the Artists Den will premiere nationally on public television, marking the innovative music series’ fifth anniversary on public television and more than 50 television episodes. The critically acclaimed program has grown from a living room concert series into one of the most sought- after performances by the world’s biggest recording artists.
The new season will kick off with an explosive episode from French rock band Phoenix, performing in a high school gym in Austin, TX and continue with episodes from Sheryl Crow, Sara Bareilles, Vampire Weekend, and more. Sara Bareilles and Vampire Weekend recently received Grammy nominations for their latest albums, Bareilles’ The Blessed Unrest for Album of the Year and Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City for Best Alternative Music Album.
Live from the Artists Den
Performing at a high school was particularly meaningful for Phoenix. “When you tour in the United States, a lot of the shows are for [people] 21 and over,” frontman Thomas Mars said, explaining the band’s decision. “We, as teenagers, wouldn't have started a band if we hadn't seen a show when we were 10 or 12.”
Nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow was equally moved by the unique setting of her episode. "It’s just so inspiring to be in that room,” Crow said of performing in the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel in New York City. “When you come into a place like The Plaza, you're reminded that there is such a great wealth of history here and beautiful architecture. I love the legacy of this place. “
The series is a production of Artists Den Entertainment presented by WLIW21 in association with WNET New York, and is distributed by American Public Television. The local TV broadcast schedule, exclusive content releases, and additional lineup announcements will be forthcoming at artistsden.com.
About the Artists Den
Live from the Artists Den is a three-time New York Emmy®-nominated music television series that features popular recording artists performing in non-traditional settings throughout North America. Live from the Artists Den broadcasts nationally on public television and internationally in the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel and Latin America.
Featured artists have included Adele, Mumford & Sons, Norah Jones, Kid Rock, Robert Plant, The National, Elvis Costello, Ray Lamontagne, Ringo Starr, Death Cab for Cutie, and Tori Amos. Featured venues have included Graceland, the first art museum in America, a Masonic temple, a former Archdiocese cathedral, a 1930s silent movie theater, the world’s oldest merchant sailing vessel, the New York Public Library, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A full listing of previously featured artists, TV episodes, and venues can be viewed at http://www.artistsden.com/.
In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and the new online newsmagazine MetroFocus.
[LIVE PIX] Christmas in Washington (Taping) - 15 December
* * *
Obamas, Hugh Jackman celebrate 'Christmas in Washington'
By Cindy Clark
President and Mrs. Obama were in attendance at the annual holiday concert.
WASHINGTON -- Christmas got a presidential seal of approval Sunday night.
The Backstreet Boys opened TNT's Christmas in Washington concert with a medley of their original holiday songs, Christmas Time and It's Christmas Time Again. President Obama, Mrs. Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia looked on.
Also on the lineup at the 32nd annual holiday concert: Hugh Grant, Sheryl Crow, Janelle Monae, Anna Kendrick and Pat Monahan. Grant served as host for this year's festivities,which benefits the Children's National Health System. President and Mrs. Obama were front and center for the holiday fun, and the American Family Choir, Washington Youth Choir and AFTRA Choir accompanied the star singing talent. Charles Barkley, NBA Hall of Famer and analyst for TNT's Inside the NBA, made a special guest appearance.
After noting that Christmas is a "time for warmth of family and friends," Jackman pointed out that he is the first Australian to host Christmas in Washington. "Even TNT is outsourcing these days," he joked.
Jackman said he wasn't sure what to get the Obamas, but decided on a "gift that speaks to the true meaning of Christmas: a box set of all seven X-Men and Wolverine movies."
Kendrick, who was just in Washington one week ago to perform at the Kennedy Center Honors, was up next, singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Monahan sang Merry Christmas Baby, and Crow crooned the classic, Please Come Home for Christmas.
Monae sang This Christmas, and then the entire lineup came together for a closing medley when Jackman put his voice on display during Angels We Have Heard On High. Then President Obama and Mrs. Obama took to the stage.
Obama pointed out that while he loves getting Christmas presents, it's "a time to remember the story of a child born to two faithful travelers on earth." He said this time of year brings "a message of hope." "We wish this holiday season, and all holiday seasons, peace on earth."
The evening ended as it has in years past: with the Obamas, the star-studded lineup and the audience singing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.
During rehearsals earlier in the evening, the Backstreet Boys, who are celebrating 20 years of being together, said the holidays are a time to focus on their families.
"We're all with our families (during the holidays). That's our holiday gift to each other: peace of mind and separation for a second because we're always together," said A.J. McLean. "We have a really unique dynamic," says Brian Littrell of the group's longevity. "It's something that we're really proud of."
Of the holidays, they all have special plans. "This will be my daughter's second Christmas...now she's all about opening up presents, so that's really cool," says McLean. As for Nick Carter, he'll be celebrating the holiday with his fiance, Lauren Kitt. "We've taken some (past) traditions and we're also starting new ones," says Carter. "She's half Mexican, so we'll be eating tamales on Christmas. She introduced that to me, and then I introduced her to Charlie Brown Christmas, which I love watching."
Howie Dourough will be attending midnight mass on Christmas Eve with his family, "then we come back and my mom makes a bunch of Spanish traditional foods...then the adults actually open gifts the night before, and then we get things ready at my mom's house for the kids the next morning."
Christmas in Washington will air as a special at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Dec. 20 on TNT.
SOURCE: USA Today
[LIVE REVIEW] Canadian Pacific Holiday Train anniversary concert - 14 Dec
2013 Holiday Train: Crow entertains with hits, Christmas tunes
By Emily Buss
South Washington County Bullettin
Friends Mary Brieksen and Kathleen Lindbeck said nearly unbearable cold wouldn’t deter them from seeing one of their favorite singers live.
Brieksen, of Cottage Grove, and Lindbeck, of Inver Grove Heights, were among the first to stake out spots for Sheryl Crow’s performance at the Holiday Train concert on a chilly Saturday night.
“I wanted to be right up front,” Lindbeck said. “We were on the first bus and were going to come no matter how cold it was.”
They made it to the front of the audience of nearly 15,000 who, despite flurries and temperatures in the low teens, bundled up and turned out for the event that included sets by Crow and the a cappella group Take 6.
Lindbeck said Crow was the main reason she attended the Holiday Train event.
“I rent out a house in St. Paul Park that is right on the rail line,” she explained. “When I was living there we would just stay home and watch it go by. But I had to come out this year to see Sheryl (Crow).”
Early concert-goers began making their way to the stage when the gates opened at 4 p.m.
The show started an hour later with opening act Canadian roots band Kelly and The Claytones, a group that performs at many Holiday Train stops. The foursome played roughly a 20-minute set of Christmas favorites, including one of their own, and impersonated Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Grammy Award-winning vocalists Take 6 kept the momentum going with holiday tunes and hymns. The sextet’s half-hour set included a soulful rendition of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and a mash-up of several classic Christmas songs.
After a brief intermission, audience members began chanting, “We want Sheryl.” Shortly after, Crow, the nine-time Grammy winner, took the stage.
“How are you doing tonight, Cottage Grove?” Crow asked the crowd, which responded with resounding applause.
Bundled up on stage, Crow noted the chilly weather but forgoed gloves to play guitar on nearly all her songs.
She opened her set with the track “All I Wanna Do” off her debut album “Tuesday Night Music Club.” In between the first and second song, “My Favorite Mistake,” a song off her third studio album “The Globe Sessions,” Crow said her sons got a true taste of Minnesota while watching walleye ice-fishing shows earlier in the day.
“They loved it,” she said of the winter sport.
Dipping below 15 degrees, the low temps detuned her acoustic guitar by the third song forcing her to pause after beginning “The First Cut Is The Deepest.”
“Once the cold air hits the guitar the strings go bazonk,” she laughed.
She continued on to perform two Christmas classics and songs from her previous self-titled album as well as “C’mon, C’mon.”
“Thank you so much for having me,” Crow told the crowd as she exited.
She returned soon after for an encore, during which she performed the track “Soak Up The Sun,” a song that perhaps had the spectators envisioning warmer weather.
The crowd quickly dispersed after Crow’s roughly 40-minute set, many commenting on the high-caliber performance of both Crow and Take 6.
* * * * * *
15,000 bundle up for Sheryl Crow at Holiday Train concert in Cottage Grove
By Scott Wente
South Washington County Bullettin
Roughly 15,000 people bundled in parkas and plenty of layers to soak up hit songs by Sheryl Crow Saturday in Cottage Grove as she headlined the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train anniversary concert.
“How in the world do you live in a place this cold?” Crow joked midway through her set, the most anticipated performance in a concert event that also included a set by fellow multi-Grammy-winner Take 6, Christmas tunes by the Holiday Train house band and the announcement of $125,000 in donations to local and national food banks.
Estimates for the outdoor concert put turnout at up to 15,000 people, Canadian Pacific spokesman Ed Greenberg said. The crowd thinned considerably toward the end of Crow’s 40-minute set as the temperature dropped from the mid-teens at the beginning of the late-afternoon event to upper single digits by evening.
The concert, billed as the largest event in Cottage Grove history, was the final of three Canadian Pacific celebrations held on the Holiday Train routes this season to celebrate 15 years of the program.
Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey thanked the railroad company, which selected the city as the only host site for a U.S. anniversary concert. Two other concerts were held recently in Canada.
“This obviously means a lot to our community,” Bailey said.
The Friends in Need Food Shelf in St. Paul Park, which has benefited from Holiday Train stops in Cottage Grove for 11 years, was the recipient of $25,000 from Canadian Pacific, on top of $103,000 the local Holiday Train Committee has raised.
The railroad company also donated $125,000 to a national anti-hunger organization called Feeding America.
The stage and surrounding area at Canadian Pacific’s rail yard near Highway 61 at times resembled a snow globe as light flurries whipped through the air and evening darkness was punctuated by concert stage lighting, illuminated bracelets worn by waving and cheering concertgoers and the thousands of Christmas lights that adorned the Holiday Train parked stage right.
An adjacent North Pole Station of heated tents featuring Santa, snacks and children’s activities provided brief warmth for attendees.
Local organizers, including the Holiday Train Committee, were planning for 20,000 to 30,000 people, but acknowledged that weather would dictate the crowd size.
People were encouraged to carpool and park in three designated parking areas served by shuttle buses. Cottage Grove Police Capt. Pete Koerner said traffic and parking went well; there were no logistical problems and attendees were telling officers and volunteers that it went smoothly, Koerner said.
Canadian Pacific paid to stage the event, but officials declined to say how much it cost. The city of Cottage Grove will likely end up paying about $15,000 for highway safety signage, parking lot security and other parking expenses, City Administrator Ryan Schroeder said.
After Cottage Grove, the Holiday Train’s U.S. route continues as it travels to northwestern Minnesota and on to North Dakota before crossing into Canada to end the seasonal run. In all, there are about 150 Holiday Train stops in Canada and the U.S. each year.
The railroad yard at 9250 Ideal Ave
Cottage Grove, Minnesota (USA)
14 December 2013
(1) DJ intro (1:13)
(2) Steve McQueen (4:28)
(3) All I Wanna Do (6:19)
(4) Easy (4:24)
(5) Callin' Me When I'm Lonely (3:23)
(6) My Favorite Mistake (5:53)
(7) Shotgun (3:43)
(8) The First Cut Is The Deepest (4:23)
(9) Give It To Me (4:11)
(10) Can't Cry Anymore (6:19)
(11) Crazy Ain't Original (4:00)
(12) Strong Enough (3:38)
(13) Banter (2:27)
(14) Redemption Day (5:03)
Disc 2 (35:03)
(1) Soak Up The Sun (6:31)
(2) Best of Times (5:38)
(3) Band introductions (0:29)
(4) Picture (1:15) =>
(5) If It Makes You Happy (4:57)
(6) Every Day is a Winding Road (6:25)
(7) Encore break (2:25)
(8) Waterproof Mascara (3:40)
(9) Run Run Rudolph (3:39)
NOTES FROM THE TAPER
Good show by Sheryl Crow in support of her country-tinged "Feels Like Home" album. I felt that she did a good job of balancing material from her 20-year pop career with her new foray into country music; even though there were seven songs from her new album (only a couple of which had a strong country feel), the overall performance didn't feel like too much of a departure from her past tours.
There were several nice moments in the show -- a heartfelt Nelson Mandela tribute preceded "Redemption Day," and his disembodied voice (lifted from his own recording of her original song) was used for a couple of the verses. Most of the set was in line with material she's played throughout 2013, with the exception of a fun first-time performance of "Run Run Rudolph" (she didn't know the words, so the lyrics were taped to the floor in front of her -- old school). I get the sense she hasn't played in a while and/or had recently changed the set -- there were a couple cases where she forgot the lyrics to some of her older songs, but the flubs were fun and not too noticeable. The new material came across well -- highlights were "Shotgun" and "Best of Times," the latter of which brought the audience to its feet.
In terms of the recording, this came out really well. I was 2nd row center, and the crowd around me (with the exception of some woo-woo's early in the set) was very respectful during songs. The fidelity is great - much better than I expected for 2nd row - although I did need to bring up the high end to make the vocals a bit more prominent. The sound noticeably brightened near the end of track two (10:23 on this recording; I tried to make the change a little more subtle with some additional EQ on the first ten minutes of the recording. Altogether I was really happy with it.
* After the DJ intro, Sheryl and band took the stage to roughly a minute of a pre-recorded version of the Rolling Stones' "Country Honk." Per DIME rules, this has been deleted, but there is a noticeable jump between the DJ introduction and the first notes of "Steve McQueen." Since the band started over a fadeout of the pre-recorded song, you'll notice the recording cuts back in during the last few seconds of the pre-recorded track.
* There is a digital "hiccup" early in "Best of Times" (at 1:06:14 on this file set) which causes a brief dropout (~1/4 of one second) on the recording. I have no idea what caused that, and have never had it happen before. In any case, it's on the master and I don't think it can be fixed. It's brief.
I had no intention of checking out this album because I'm not a country fan ... after seeing this show, however, I'll definitely grab it. The songwriting on the new material, IMO, is really good.
NEWS - Sheryl to perform at Tortuga Music Festival 2014
Tortuga Music Festival 2014 lineup: Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Ziggy Marley top the bill
Country chart-toppers Luke Bryan and Eric Church, Grammy winner Sheryl Crow and reggae favorite Ziggy Marley lead a diverse lineup of performers announced Monday for the second annual Tortuga Music Festival on Fort Lauderdale beach April 12-13.
Early-bird Tortuga tickets that went on sale in October at $145 for a two-day pass quickly sold out, but another allotment of advance tickets will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m., beginning at $155 for a weekend pass. Get them at TortugaMusicFestival.com.
The unenviable task of filling the headliner’s boots worn by Kenny Chesney at the inaugural Tortuga festival in April goes to Bryan, whose recently released fourth album, “Crash My Party,” includes the No. 1 singles “That's My Kind of Night” and the title track.
This has been a dream year for the 37-year-old Bryan, who took home a CMT Artist of the Year award in Nashville last week, to go with the Favorite Country Male Artist award he won last month at the 2013 American Music Awards and the Entertainer of the Year award at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April. Bryan was recently named a host (with Blake Shelton) of the 2014 CMAs airing live a week before Tortuga.
The ocean-friendly Tortuga Music Festival is a partnership between the Rock the Ocean Foundation’s Chris Stacey, a former Fort Lauderdale diver and music-industry veteran now living in Nashville, and New Orleans-based HUKA Entertainment. This year the partnership picked up an influential sponsor, basic-cable channel CMT (Country Music Television).
Other music on the 2014 bill includes the streetwise funk-punk of SoCal’s Slightly Stoopid, country crooners Billy Currington and Brett Eldredge, NoCal folky Brett Dennen, roots rockers Delta Rae, former “Survivor” star Chase Rice, Cole Swindell (“Chillin’ It”), Nashville heartthrob Frankie Ballard (“Helluva Life”), and the pure indie craftsmanship of the Revivalists (New Orleans), White Denim (Austin) and the Brothers Osborne (rural Kentucky). More performers are still being rounded up, organizers say.
“We set out to build on last year’s foundation by putting together an … incredible group of country, rock and roots acts. We feel we’ve done exactly that,” blurbed HUKA Entertainment co-founder and CEO A.J. Niland.
More than 25,000 locals and a sizable number of tourists turned up for the first Tortuga festival on the sand north of the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel. Three stages were positioned around the Conservation Village, which included educational displays from leading local ocean conservationists such as the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.
Ticket proceeds and donations at the 2013 festival raised more than $70,000 for the marine conservation organizations.
Private concert for Fallsview Casino’s annual Christmas dinner;
Private event for the casino’s VIP guests
Fallsview Casino Resort
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
7 December 2013
LIVE VID - "Callin' Me When I'm Lonely" @ Katie (5 Dec)
Sorry for the minor audio issues, have no idea where they came from.
FAN REVIEW - FM106.1 Toys for Tots benefit concert (by Alan/BDS)
Milwaukee, Riverside Review
Last night, I had the wonderful opportunity to see Sheryl at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee. It’s a gorgeous, relatively intimate venue and I think it was really fitting atmosphere for her tunes. The acoustics were heavenly and I had a total blast.
The opening act was a band called The Familiar Looking Strangers. Usually, I just opening acts the thing that’s keeping me from viewing what I paid to see. This time, that wasn’t so much the case. The UK band stunned me. They’re weren’t quite country, but, like Sheryl, were a little bit of everything. In fact, they’re style really reminded me of the tone on Sheryl’s eponymous album and The Globe Sessions. Lots of organ, lots of guitar, lots of soul. Very, very cool. I wouldn’t be surprised if these gentlemen broke through in the US. They were just that good. And the lead singer really made me chuckle because of his heavy, heavy accent. I couldn’t understand a word he was saying when he spoke to us, but, when he sang, I felt at home.
Then Sheryl came out. It’s always an incredibly surreal thing for me when she enters the stage. I’ve been following her for years and years and years now and know the lyrics to even the B-sides. Her music’s been there for me during the good times and the bad times (no pun intended: “The Best of Times). So she entered like her down-to-earth self and started playing “Steve McQueen.” Her vocals were impeccable and I also wanted to note that she doesn’t use the vocal distortion anymore for the part where she sings, “We got rockstars in the white house and all our popstars look like porn…” For a while, they actually just played the album snippet of that part and then she mouthed along. Not the case now, though, which made it much more raw.
Did I mention that her vocals were impeccable? I mean, maybe this is just beating a dead horse now, but they were really, really great last night. Sometimes, you can tell that she’s a little tired. Well, that wasn’t the case last night.
Also, I need to go on a quick rant right now. I had one problem with the concert and it has nothing to do with Sheryl, the band, or the venue. It has to do with the audience. Now, I’m 22 years old, so when I go to a Sheryl concert, me and whoever I’ve gotten to come with me are always the youngest people in the room. I’m fine with that, but I’m not fine with the fact that the entire audience sits for almost the entire show. Everyone stood when she came out and played the opening chords to “Steve McQueen.” By the second verse, though, they were all seated. I was on the first floor in the venue and fairly close, which means there were plenty of people behind me. They didn’t so much like it when I stood for “My Favorite Mistake,” “Soak Up the Sun,” and “Can’t Cry Anymore.” In fact, when I stood for “Strong Enough,” several people behind me yelled and told me to sit down. All I have to say to that is: what the fuck? I mean, seriously, Sheryl Crow is someone who has really made a name in this industry. She’s incredibly popular and is not just some up-and-comer. I think it’s pretty disrespectful that people do not stand and dance along. It’s not like this is some folky, slow concert. Her tunes are uptempo and rockin.’ It's a frickin' rock concert! So I don’t understand why people sit. And this isn’t the first time this has happened. Afterwards, my friend actually told me, “I’ve never experienced that when everyone sits for an entire rock concert.” Frankly, it pisses me off and, frankly, I wish I would have given those audience members who told me to sit down the middle finger, because I don’t see it as me being disrespectful by standing. I see it as disrespectful by not standing and singing and dancing along.
After “Steve,” Sheryl played “All I Wanna Do.” This version’s got a little more twang and country influence in it, which I really got into. Sheryl then played “Easy” and “Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely.” Great vocals, though, I think I was the only person singing along to every verse throughout the concert. I’m pretty positive I was her biggest fan in the room last night. Then came “My Favorite Mistake.” This is my favorite single by her and so it meant a lot to me to be like the only person in the room standing for it. “Shotgun” followed and people really dug it. I think this should probably be a third single. Followed by that was “The First Cut” and “Give It To Me.” The girls next to me were a little bit older, but I noticed that they really got into “Give It To Me.” They were throwing their hands up and everything, which made me smile, because I presume that a lot of people in that room last night were not as familiar with Feels Like Home as I am.
Then came “Can’t Cry Anymore.” I noticed through the years that this song, in concert, becomes more and more rockin’. Last night, this was definitely the case. I was pounding my foot and everything. In the middle of the song, Sheryl and the band have a few lines of a break and then the song explodes. It was brilliant. At the end of the song, Sheryl tried her best to get into Mariah Carrey range and do the dolphin thing. She hit the notes!
The acoustic set followed. They played “Crazy Ain’t Original,” “Strong Enough,” and then “Redemption Day.” Just as the past few concerts have been going, Sheryl introduced “Redemption Day” by talking about Johnny Cash and how he recorded the song. She didn’t tell us that it was going to be a duets of sorts, but then, on the second verse, Johnny’s voice shined through and everyone applauded. The song got a standing ovation. It was heartbreaking and beautiful.
“Soak Up the Sun” followed. Honestly, it’s my least favorite single, but, of course, I stood and danced along. Once those chords started, the crowd began to pick up the momentum just a little bit. “Best of Times” followed. Sheryl rightfully got a standing ovation on that one with her harmonica solo. People ate that shit up. It was awesome.
Then came the “Picture”/”If It Makes You Happy” combo. I’m going to be honest here. I prefer “If It Makes You Happy” as its own entity. It’s one of those songs that usually gets people out of their seats for a verse or so, but that wasn’t the case last night. “If It Makes You Happy” is such an anthem and those opening chords are so memorable and I just don’t like it being combined with “Picture,” a slower song. I digress, though. The vocals were great.
People finally stood when “Everyday Is a Winding Road” started. Unfortunately, this was the final song of the set. Once everyone got on their feet, I felt a small sense of community and it was cool. It kind of felt like the party that I think Sheryl concerts should feel like.
The encore included “Waterproof Mascara,” probably my favorite song from FLH. It was beautiful, truly great. She got a standing ovation for that one. “Run Run Rudolph” surprisingly followed. Everyone danced along to that one until Sheryl and the band exited.
The friend that came with me to the concert is a hardcore country fan. She’s always liked Sheryl, but hasn’t ever liked her enough to put her songs on her IPod. So, on the way to the car after the show, I asked her, “So did this concert change your view of Sheryl?”
And she smiled and said, “Oh, yeah. That was rockin.’ I’m going to be listening to her music for a month straight.”
It was a lovely concert and Sheryl and the band really shined. This is the fourth time I’ve seen her and, I’ll tell you, every time, it’s a new experience. I gain something new; I develop even more respect for her. She’s a true master.
I just wish people would give her some damn respect and stand!!!!
All I Wanna Do
Give It To Me
Crazy Ain’t Original
Redemption Day (ft. Johnny Cash)
Best of Times
LIVE REVIEW - FM106.1 Toys for Tots benefit concert (jsonline.com)
Sheryl Crow shows she's found a home in country music in Riverside show
Sheryl Crow strikes a chord with the Riverside Theater audience Thursday night.
By Erik Ernst
The Journal Sentinel
Photo: Melissa Miller
Just as mainstream country stars seem lured by crossover pop stardom, there's been a long mystical draw in the other direction toward Nashville.
Seeing the likes of Kid Rock, Staind's Aaron Lewis, Kelly Clarkson and Darius Rucker climb the country charts is no new phenomenon. Heck, Kenny Rogers was a psychedelic rocker long before he was The Gambler.
Sheryl Crow is the most recent addition to the list, taking the advice of her Nashville chum Brad Paisley and releasing what was declared her first country disc in February. On record, it worked, with "Feels Like Home" and its debut single, "Easy," both quickly climbing the genre's charts.
In concert at the Riverside Theater Thursday night, the new approach arrived with a light touch early in her 95-minute set. Strumming a red, white and blue guitar on the opening "Steve McQueen," a smiling Crow channeled a couple Dwight Yoakam boot waggles in front of her six-piece band. The SoCal swagger of her 1994 breakout hit, "All I Wanna Do" received a few soft licks from a pedal steel, which later wailed deeper on "The First Cut Is the Deepest." In material from her new album, Crow name-checked Jack Johnson within the breezy pop melody of "Easy."
Two decades into her recording career, Crow's voice was still impressive as she added a slight yodel to the high-reaching chorus. "Callin' Me When I'm Lonely" mastered the emotions of heartache and the draw of a wrong kind of love, pairing easily with the dueling keyboard and organ that carried her 1998 hit, "My Favorite Mistake." "Best of Times" was an extended, rumbling jam with the band grooving together around Crow blowing out a bluesy harmonica stomp.
Largely, despite the show's sponsorship from local country radio station WMIL-FM, little has changed in Crow's music. It is still an engaging mix of pop, Americana and Southern soul.
During a midset acoustic break Thursday night, Crow paid tribute to Nelson Mandela as she introduced "Redemption Day," which incorporated recorded vocals from Johnny Cash's brooding cover of the song alongside Crow's impassioned pleas.
After that somber reflection, things quickly turned joyous as "Soak Up the Sun" finally roused the large but surprisingly subdued crowd to dance, clap and sing along — even carrying a brief mid-song lyric flub that spurred Crow to playfully thank her fans. "You really saved my (expletive) there," she exclaimed.
Soon, a verse from "Picture" — Crow's earliest foray into the country charts with Kid Rock in 2002 — olled smoothly into a honky-tonk dance-floor shuffle in "If It Makes You Happy."
The headlines might declare that Crow has gone country. Not really. She just found a new home in a format that has opened wide enough to embrace her ambitions.
Familiar Looking Strangers — one of the acts in Kapco Inc. owner Jim Kacmarcik's K-Nation music management and development stable — opened the show with Milwaukee's Joe Hite laying soulful organ melodies over the Liverpool, U.K.-based quintet's 40-minute set of bright power pop and tavern-rock tunes. TAKEAWAYS
■Early on, Crow declared her love of Milwaukee as the birthplace of Miller Lite and Pabst Blue Ribbon. "That's what my grandma always drank — PBR. And she smoked Marlboro Reds. She was a tough girl."
■Crow couldn't help getting into the December holiday mood as she bopped and sang the encore-closing "Run Rudolph Run."
LIVE PIX - FM106.1 Toys for Tots benefit concert - Milwuakee - 5 Dec
FM106.1 Toys for Tots benefit concert
Milwuakee, Wisconsin (USA)
5 December 2013
VIDEO - Katie (5 December)
[ CLICK TO ENLARGE ]
LIVE PIX - US 99.5 Live Country @ Joe's Bar + Meet&Greet (4 December)
US 99.5 Live Country
Chicago, Illinois (USA)
4 November 2013 --
LIVE REVIEW - TimesTalks - An Evening with Sheryl Crow (2 December)
Review & Photo by
I have one picture of the NY Times evening with Sheryl Crow. I arrived late. No only that but I text the wrong person that I was there. Suddenly I got 5 noisy texts in a row. Pissing off the people in front and interrupting the silence while Sheryl was speaking. Then I took a photo and I was immediately spotted in the well-lit theater. I got a personal reprimanding that there were no photos. I put the camera away. There were many camera/video professionals there. I’m sure there will be many pictures and video floating around. Aleks will find them ;). I also think it was streamed live. It was a small and intimate room. The room was full but every seat was good!
I am amazed at how she can throw names of people from her past so fluently as if it was yesterday. I am so bad with names past and present! There was her chatty interview, then Q&A’s. She then played Strong Enough, Calling me when I’m Lonely, and Give it to me. All sounded great with the sound system they had. I’m surprised at how good it was because of all the windows in the building.
A few things I remember:
She spoke about someone hiring her to sing a jingle and that was how she got started. She spoke of Michael Jackson and his musicianship and presence. She does not like singing to a bunch of cell phones and cameras in her face. She spoke about bootlegs and said she has no problem with them and that they actually have given some live feeds for it because she wants it to sound good. She also said that the Internet is great because you are able to see more of her work. That there is a website from Italy that has everything she has ever done so she celebrates the Internet. When asked about bloopers, she said that they’re out there. That she F’s up a lot and that there’s a lot of them around. She was very personal and funny as usual. It does amaze me how fluent and intelligently she speaks. She spoke about her song Weather Channel and that she was on medication for some type of Endometriosis that threw her into a depression. She spoke about the sedative they gave her after that and she wrote that song. She doesn’t remember writing it. Lol (What a great song!) She spoke about Riverwide and Johnny Cash singing it. She said her favorite album was her self-titled album, and then said it was because her name was on it. Lol The room was dead silent! People listened to every word even when she went off on a tangent. Lol. Really she is very charming and sweet answering many questions. She is so good at being in the spotlight. Everything just flows out naturally. Catch this recording if you can. I loved it even if it was only 90min. It was very well done. At the end she signed a few autographs and staff took her hand to escort her off the stage. She went willingly. Lol That is my unprofessional review. Love her!
(THANKS JANET!) -
VIDEO - "Merry Christmas Baby" & "Christmas Song" - CMA Country Xmas
Nashville, Tennessee (USA) -
VIDEO - An Evening with Sheryl Crow - New York Times "TimesTalks"
A long and in-depth interview with Sheryl and New York Times music critic Jon Pareles! Great stuff!
New York City, NY (USA)
2 December 2013
INTERVIEW - OnMilwaukee.com - 2 December
Sheryl Crow brings some country sun to Milwaukee's winter cold
By Matt Mueller
The sun carries almost no heat or warmth. A sharp face-tingling chill greets you as turn every corner on the street. There's not even any wonderful white snow on the ground to make the weather seem any more pleasant. Nope, it's just cold. It's hard to think of a better, more fitting time for Sheryl Crow, the singer-songwriter behind warm, summery hits like "Soak Up the Sun" and "All I Wanna Do," to come to town.
Not that Crow's career is limited to fun summer songs, of course. The Grammy-winning pop rock artist has a diverse resume, starting with a career in background vocals for stars like Michael Jackson and Don Henley, and later developing a signature sound that mixed her storytelling lyrics with hints of rock, roots, soul and pop. She's also had a dash of country in her music, something that gets pushed to the forefront on "Feels Like Home," her latest album and first official country record.
Crow is bringing some of that new country-focused sound, as well as some of her older hits, to the Riverside Thursday night. Before she hits the stage, though, we chatted with Crow about the move to country music, the inspirations behind the new album and the most influential person she's performed with. And considering her impressive career, she's got quite the list of singers and icons to choose from.
OnMilwaukee.com: Your latest album, "Feels Like Home," is, technically, your first dip into country music. You've always had a tad of country in your music, but this is really your first centralized country album. What inspired that change?
Sheryl Crow: Well, I was out of my record label, out of my deal that was basically a pop deal at a pop record label. I was living in Nashville; I've been living there since 2006 after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I always wanted to make a country record, but I was really reticent about doing it because I just felt like people would think I was just another pop star trying to crossover. I had so much encouragement and so many people coming to me – songwriters, performers, you know – saying you should make a country record.
Then Brad Paisley actually was the first one that, after I performed with Loretta Lynn and Miranda Lambert (at the 2010 CMA Awards), said, "It's time." And he was really helpful, and so we made this record.
OMC: Was it kind of nerve-wracking to hop genres like that?
SC: Not at all. I don't feel like I really changed what I do to make this record. I think it's more focused, I think, as far as the instrumentation toward the format, but it's basically the same thing I've been doing. I think the country format has definitely changed a lot. It's definitely broadened, with everything on there from super, super pop music to Southern rock. Basically what you don't hear in country is traditional country anymore.
OMC: What are your inspirations for your brand of country music?
SC: Well, I grew up with Emmylou Harris and Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, and I listened to Gram Parsons. I listened to the Rolling Stones as well. "Let It Bleed" and "Exile on Main Street," they're very country. And that was kind of my brand of country I probably snuck in through the back door.
OMC: You also mentioned that this is your most focused album, or one of your most focused albums, on your website. How so?
SC: One of the things when Brad initially came to me and said, "You belong in our format," he said all we need to do is turn your vocal up and make your songs that are already stories more first-person. Get in there and tell a story. And I wrote with several different songwriters, and I loved the process. That's the main thing that's probably different and more specific to the format, making sure that the stories are concise and that the songs are really lyric- and story-driven. You can get away with a lot with pop that you don't really necessarily get away with in country.
OMC: Other than that the first-person, how else did you feel your storytelling change from pop to country?
SC: Just making everything extremely understandable, leaving nothing to the imagination and just not making things nebulous.
OMC: How do you differentiate yourself in such a crowded country music field, especially since it seems like there are so many blonde, Top 40 country stars out there? How do you make sure that your music and performance stands out?
SC: Well, not everybody's blonde. I mean, there's some great females out there that are not blonde, like Gloriana and Thompson Square. There are a lot of really great performers. Unfortunately, country radio tends to not play women. I think really, for the most part, there are only about two or maybe three women who get played.
I don't really try to differentiate myself; I just try to do what I do. The music that I've written for this record are my stories, songs that are from my life. I'm a single mom. I'm a working mom. I've suffered loss. I've had great love. I mean, it's all personal stories, and that's the only way I can differentiate myself is to write stuff that has meaning for me. I'm definitely not trying to do what anybody else does because at the end of the day, I don't know if that really advances your art so much.
OMC: What is your favorite song off your new album?
SC: That's hard, but I would say either "Give It To Me" or "Waterproof Mascara." Both of those have a lot of meaning for me. "Waterproof Mascara" was actually the first song I wrote for the record, which I wrote with Brad and Chris DuBois. It's about being a single mom, and it's definitely a really strong country song. I'm proud of it. I hope it gets played; it's probably too country for the country format. A lot of people relate to it. I've played it a lot acoustic at radio events. I think it has a lot of meaning for people.
OMC: What is your favorite song to perform live?
SC: I love performing "Give It To Me." It's a blast. It's a real throwback to '60s country music, or '70s country music probably more.
OMC: You've performed with so many terrific artists in your day, Mick Jagger, Sting, the list goes on and on and on. Who is your favorite or most inspirational person that you've performed with?
SC: I love singing with Emmylou, more than anyone.
OMC: What is it about performing with her that means so much?
SC: She just … I don't know. She's just a beautiful person and a beautiful voice, and she just is somebody who's so wonderful at harmonizing. There's just something about our voices together that I love, and it makes me feel really inspired.