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Roxx's Session Chatter

Maia Sharp

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“Every story is sprung from a different seed.”

That’s what Maia Sharp told us about the writing of the above song. She said the idea actually came from her not hearing someone’s name correctly. “Louis Aftermark.” She thought it was an interesting name, as if Louis had come after Mark in some relationship or something. The name she’d read was actually “Altermark,” or something similar. It inspired her to write, “Me After You.”

People were SO ready for the official kick-off of summer, with Alive After 5 in the Grove. The spicy-sweet smell of paella drifted in the air, and people were ready to relax after work with a cold drink and catch up with friends. Maia Sharp was a welcomed voice for those excited to see the sun again. They stopped by for an in-studio performance at noon the day of the show. Guitarist Linda Taylor played some impressive and tasty leads. I drooled over her new pre-amp during sound check, and want one even more after hearing the power and quality it had on her performance. We keep the in-studio things simple, no headphones and on-the-fly. Maia really wanted headphones, we set her up with an ear piece and she thought the vocals sounded too loud. I was nervous about it as it sounded fine in the room, so I recorded the sound check and invited her in to hear it. I told her I knew she was a producer, that I respect that and want her to be happy with what she hears. So, I cranked it up through the speakers, stepped back, and crossed my fingers. “The vocals are actually a little loud now,” she said. I was glad to hear it, had turned them up for her and it had bothered me a bit. So glad we agreed on sound and she was very appreciative of us working with her!

Wait, back to Linda Taylor. I thought, “who IS this woman?!” She was so comfortable on lead and all the licks I heard during sound check were blowing me away. Where did she come from? Remember Drew Carey’s awesome show, “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” Remember when they’d make songs up impromptu from audience suggestions? The band who PLAYED those songs, was Linda Taylor, and Laura Hall. How cool is that? Linda also joined Tracy Chapman’s “Smoke and Ashes” tour, and she’s the smokin’ hot actress in white here, finger-synching Adam Levy’s guitar part…though she insists that IS her hat! See it about 2 minutes in. Wow, have I ever seen this video, or has it just been forever? LOVE Tracy.

Maia’s father Randy Sharp is a producer, so it’s no surprise she produced her new album. “Change the Ending,” will be released in August. It was tracked in L.A., the vocals were recorded at home, and some were done on a laptop mic on the tour bus. Before the interview, Maia said “Homey don’t DO Ricky Valens-level planes. I prefer driving!”

She joked about writing her first song at 5 years old. “Ghosts can’t hurt me, they can only scare me.” Then she said she actually saw a ghost as a child, and repeated that line of her song. She wonders now what she actually saw at the time!

Maia Sharp has written for, and collaborated with many people. She has done work with Dixie Chicks, Jonatha Brooke, Art Garfunkel, Lisa Loeb, and Trisha Yearwood. She produced Edwin McCain’s latest album, and can be heard on Bonnie Raitt’s new release.

Cher was the first person to record one of her songs.

Maia plays guitar, keyboards, oboe, and saxophone. The Grove was filled with easily over a thousand people listening to her music, though many friends mentioned the sound guys could have let it be louder.

She admitted after the interview, that this song was inspired by a discussion of the book “Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.” It was a great day, and great way to kick off our free summer concert series. If you missed the live interview, get the PODCAST HERE.

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