Everybody's saying something nice about Maia Sharp. That's how it seems, anyway. Also, everybody's recording her songs, more and more. For an artist who thought she was going to be a sax player, now on her third record as a singer songwriter, she's building a long impressive list of cuts in a hurry.
Maia's one of those hardworking co-writing types that's always after a song, but totally without subscribing to the Nashville Music Row ethic of coming in to the office ten to four with 2-3 writing appointments each day. She's had success at AAA radio with each of the CDs she's done as an artist, and the latest is no exception. The single "Something Wild" from her new Fine Upstanding Citizen on Koch Records is getting great national airplay at this writing.
There are different kinds of singer songwriters, one can distinguish between them by the way they speak, about their peers and about the music, even about touring. Maia is definitely from the Player camp, the singer songwriters that are also very gifted, serious and adept instrumentalists. She started playing sax as a child, and was playing in horn sections around L.A. before she ever decided that writing songs and being an artist was where she truly belonged. She has very serious chops on the piano as well, and some of her coolest, funkiest material jumps off the keys.
Although she's not from the Poet camp of singer songwriters, she takes the lyrics very seriously, and it's paid off. In word and melody, there's a high level of craft in her work, and a lot of co-writing experience. We talk extensively about co-writing and her many co-writers; she just seemed to have so much energy for the magic and the process, I wanted to hear everything I could get from her on the subject.
Maia's dad Randy is a great and successful songwriter himself, and together they penned the title song from the last Dixie Chicks record, "Home." Her latest cuts include Trisha Yearwood, Bonnie Raitt, and Edwin McCain. Chick has got a buzz going on.
Upstanding Citizen is a great piece of work, produced by Brad Jones,
certainly a favorite of ours. I was sitting with Brad up front at a Maia
show recently, and it was really the first time I'd heard her. Now I'm
a big fan, and have cherry picked the previous two records via iTunes.
(I usually end up getting the whole CD, but now I buy it a piece at a
time.) Maia onstage is a very loveable artist, and we urge you to catch
her show. She's very genuine, and she throws down. Now I'm saying good
things about Maia Sharp. Don't be surprised when you catch yourself doing
it, like next week.