July 1, 2010 at 11:54 am , by Lisa M. Gerry
Sheryl Crow’s new album, 100 Miles From Memphis, is an ode to her childhood in Missouri spent listening to Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and Al Green. “Whenever I hear that music, it immediately takes me back to the summers of driving around in Kennett, circling the strip,” says Crow. Check out my interview with her below, and for more from Sheryl, pick up the August issue of Ladies Home Journal.
I am so excited about this album. Can you describe its sound?
It’s a little bit of a departure for me. I grew up about an hour and a half from Memphis, so we listened to a lot of sax music and R&B. This album has a lot of old soul. There’s a sensuality to that old R&B and soul music that I love.
Has being a mother influenced your music?
Being a mom has influenced everything in my life. And your life informs your art. This record is much more about enjoying life and the kind of vulnerability that goes along with intimacy. Intimacy not in the sexual sense, but in the revealing of yourself to another person. When you have a child, you certainly meet yourself at every level. [My 3-year-old son, Wyatt] has demanded that I be present in my life.
What is your song-writing process like?
I used to write in the morning. But my mornings now are reserved specifically for my kids [Crow adopted Wyatt in 2007, and she recently adopted Levi James, who was born April 30]. Now I write when I have an opportunity to actually close the door, be quiet, turn the phone off and have a few hours to myself—which is kind of a luxury right now.
You collaborate with Keith Richards and Justin Timberlake on this album. Who would you like to work with next?
Lady Gaga. I love that she plays piano—that’s my first instrument—so it would be fun to do something with her on piano.
And you’re participating in Lilith Fair this year. What does being a part of that festival mean to you?
When Sarah [McClachlan] put this together ten years ago, promoters were really reticent about putting more than one female artist on a bill. They would argue that it wasn’t a viable ticket. Now, of course, some of the biggest selling artists in the world are female. Lilith is a real celebration of how far we’ve come.
Check out Sheryl’s video for her new single, “Summer Day.”
June 9, 2010 at 9:00 am , by Lisa M. Gerry
Sarah McLachlan is back in a big way. On June 15, the three-time Grammy winner is releasing her first album in seven years, The Laws of Illusion. And on June 27—after more than 10 years—she’s re-launching the legendary, lady-power concert series, Lilith Fair. We talked about how she juggles being a single mom, a singer/songwriter, a trailblazer and a humanitarian.
This is your first studio album in seven years. What inspired you to make it now?
I’ve been working on it for a long time, but I have two small kids [India Ann Sushil, 8 and Taja Summer, 3], so that majorly slows down the process. (Laughs) I have about 15 minutes in the morning to write, which is not ideal. So, for the last couple of years, I took time to just be at home, spend time with my kids, work when I feel like it—and sort of have a normal life. It’s been luxurious.
Why the title The Laws of Illusion?
I was thinking about the fairytale that we buy into as children—the white-picket fence and the happily ever after. You buy into it, and most times, it turns out to be false. Obviously, it has a lot to do with the demise of my marriage [McLachlan separated from her husband, and drummer in her band, Ashwin Sood, in 2008] and all of the emotions that comes with that—anger, loss, and then, the fresh possibility of something new. There’s always hope.