Something to Crow about
Vail, CO Colorado
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado -You never know what to expect from Sheryl Crow. She’s free-spirited, fearless, fierce and, sometimes, sassy. One thing’s for sure, though, she never holds back.
Crow has garnered nine Grammys, performed duets with musical luminaries such as Sting and Mick Jagger and has released seven studio albums, which have sold more than 35 million records worldwide. Not bad for a woman who began her career as an elementary school music teacher before moving to Los Angeles in 1986.
After that, it was full speed ahead for this talented lady. Crow soon began recording jingles for advertising clients, including McDonalds. She sang on Michael Jackson’s “Bad” world tour and later sang back-up for Sting, Rod Stewart and Don Henley.
And it was about that time – in the early ’90s – that Vail resident David O. Williams caught Crow’s performance at Vail’s much-missed musical venue, Garton’s, where new artists such as Crow and Dave Matthews performed. The price of the ticket? Ten dollars.
“Sheryl had just come off of Michael Jackson’s tour,” Williams said. “I do remember she was great. Fifteen years later, I saw her at Red Rocks. She had arrived!”
It was just before the debut of Crow’s “Tuesday Night Music Club” album that hit No. 3 and earned three Grammys – Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the classic “All I Wanna Do.”
Crow’s sound is always new and different. She’s soulful with a contemporary feel. Sometimes a little bit country. Sometimes a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, still with a soulful feel. She grew up listening to the irresistible sounds coming out of Memphis in the late ’60s – Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Booker T, Aretha Franklin. And in the early ’70s – Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gay, Sly Stone – all of whom shaped Crow’s musical sensibilities.
People Magazine’s review of her “100 Miles from Memphis” album said it was “a punch blend of Memphis soul and lilting gospel. She performs with the kind of exquisitely restrained yearning that put giants like All Green on the map.”
Crow said the title of the album isn’t about location but, rather, “It’s a state of mind. I grew up in a small town 100 miles from Memphis, and that informed not only my musical taste but how I look at life.”
“The drive to Memphis is all farmland,” she said. “And everyone is community-oriented. God-fearing people, connected to the Earth. The music that came out of that part of the world is a part of who I am, and it’s the biggest inspiration for what I do and why I do it.”
Crow, a breast cancer survivor, is a supporter of a variety of environmental and health-related charities, including The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and The World Food Program. This year, the Sheryl Crow Imaging Center in the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Los Angeles was opened.
Yet it’s her passion for music that influences every area of Crow’s life.
“Music really becomes the soundtrack of major events in your life,” she said. “I don’t set goals for myself too much, but I’m always trying to write that one great song.”
Needless to say, the audience will be all ears.
Crow’s sold-out performance takes place tonight at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek.
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