Sharon Little to perform at the Kennett Flash
● By J. Chambless
CBS Records artist Sharon Little will be performing at the Kennett Flash on Jan. 6.
By Richard L. Gaw
From waiting on tables in a
Philadelphia coffee shop to touring with Robert Plant, the musical
journey of Sharon Little has been one guided by manifest integrity.
If anyone doubts that that integrity, all they need to do is listen
to her latest CD, or better yet, attend her Jan. 6 concert at the
Kennett Flash, presented by 88.5 WXPN.
“Paper Doll,” the second album by Little, is a follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2008 CBS Records debut, “Perfect Time For A Breakdown.” Produced by Grammy-winning producer Don Was, “Paper Doll” is a response to a pop-culture mindset that seems to require female entertainers to adopt a particular look or behave outrageously in order to gain attention.
The release serves as Little's manifesto that she be judged on what she offers through her music, and not by the outfits she wears, or who she’s been dating. She delivers this message through songs that effortlessly fuse pop, rock, R&B, and even a taste of electronic music, in a direct, emotionally potent style.
“It often seems that female artists have to look and act in a certain way in order to be successful – like they’re paper dolls and society or ‘the business’ just slaps these images on them,” Little said. “We have these young girls acting and dressing in a very overly sexual way, like they’re grown women. Is that their idea, or have they been told to look and act that way in order to sell themselves? Either way, it’s just sad.
“I thought we women were supposed to have made great strides in the past several decades. Spending ten minutes on a few popular websites makes me feel like we’ve only gone backward,” she added.
While working as a waitress in Philadelphia, Little performed with local bands and independently released an album in 2006 titled “Drawing Circles,” before being signed to CBS Records in early 2008. Soon after, she was chosen as the opening act for former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, Alison Krauss and T-Bone Burnett on their North American “Raising Sand” tour. Her first album with CBS, “Perfect Time for a Breakdown,” was released on May 27, 2008.
Following that tour and countless other gigs throughout the U.S., Little spent months honing the many song ideas she had been developing with her collaborator, Scot Sax, into a song cycle that became “Paper Doll.” The CD's songs “Shake and Shiver,” “If You Want To See Me Cry” and “Good Goodbye” are rooted in the turmoil often found in personal relationships. Little chronicles the process of healing the emotional wounds, observed from a perspective of inner strength and self-awareness.
Born and raised in a blue-collar family in Philadelphia, Little wasn’t exposed to much pop music as a child. She seldom listened to the radio, and her family did not own a television until she was 11. At 16, she got her first guitar from a woman whose daughter – Little's friend – had been killed in a car accident.
“I found myself channeling the pain and grief I was going through, with my voice and my guitar,” she said. “That’s where my soul was born.”
“Paper Doll” arrives after a busy
two years for Little. Her music has been heard often on television.
“Follow That Sound” became the theme for “The Cleaner” on
A&E. She performed another track from that album, “Spaceship,”
in a sequence shot in New York’s 34th Street subway station for an
episode of “CSI: NY,” and her songs have also been featured on
“NCIS,” “The Good Wife,” “Ghost Whisperer” and
“Three years ago, I had never been in any states besides Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Texas, and now I’ve been to every state in this country except three,” Little said. “I’ve met countless artists who’ve inspired me greatly, and my music has been heard all over TV. I’ve got a lot of people behind me, helping me to achieve my dream to be a true artist, and I hope to show aspiring young artists that they, too, can achieve their dreams without compromising who they really are.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L.
Gaw, email email@example.com.