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Interview with Sherri Harding
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I think that music chooses you and not the other way around. I was compelled from a very young age. My parents owned a used furniture store and I would stand on the tables and sing for pennies from the customers. I taught myself to play on a cheap borrowed guitar. If not music, certainly something in the creative vein, perhaps a chef? I’m a pretty decent cook.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love going on nature hikes. With the jumble of everyday living, it’s hard to find the mental space to be creative. Nothing clears the mind better than a walk in the forest.
How long have you been making music?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t singing. I started to play guitar around age 12.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am based out of Ottawa, ON, Canada. People think the sidewalks roll up at 10:00 pm here, but there’s actually a pretty thriving music scene. I’ve had the opportunity to play with so many great musicians.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
One of my favourite moments on stage was my first gig with The Cooper Brothers. Singing BG vocals for The Dream Never Dies and Rock and Roll Cowboys… songs I had heard on the radio growing up. I was in heaven.
I have also had the opportunity to perform for all 3 branches of the Canadian Armed Forces, the army in Bosnia, the navy in Dubai and the RCAF in Aviano, Italy. We were a little bit of home coming to them and boy did they show their appreciation. I’ve never heard such a roar from the crowd!
What is your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I did a performance on Parliament Hill for the Canada Day celebration, that was pretty cool. Does that count as a venue? Lol
The bigger the crowd, the better. I find intimate shows a bit intimidating.
Hollywood Bowl would be a dream to play. Such a cool vibe.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Can I time travel with this one? I would love to have been on the bill at Woodstock or Monterey Pop Festival.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Advice to someone just getting into making music? Always try to play with players that are better than you are. It will make you up your game and rise to their level.
Advice to my younger self? Read more. Write more. Take more chances creatively.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Well, I am lucky enough to have a brilliant songwriter/producer in Dick Cooper. Since he’s never written for a woman before, he asked me what subjects he could write about that would mean something to me. I told him stories of my admiration for the strong female role models in my family and he came back with this gorgeous song called “Lady of the House”. When I first played a rough mix of it for my sister in the car, she cried her eyes out. He nailed it!
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
We have a song called “Headlong in to Sundown” that just kicks butt, about the life we road warriors lead. I love playing that one. Our most requested is the single “Don’t Tell Me How I Feel”.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I am very fortunate to have one of the best songwriters in Canada (nay, the world) in my corner, Mr. Dick Cooper.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Plans for the future? Make more original music! Would love to go back to Muscle Shoals to record again. Really is a magical place.
We have a live show coming up that promises to be a great time. StoneCrop Acres Winery and Vineyard, Sunday, June 4, 2023.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Just search me on Facebook or YouTube. Sherri Harding. J