MAIA SHARP – ” Backburner “

Posted: May 8, 2021 in MUSIC

Over the last quarter-century, the songwriter and performer Maia Sharp has released a bunch of solid albums that navigated the middle ground between country, pop, and Americana. But her songs have also been rendered by other artists: Back when “Dixie” was still part of their name, the Chicks covered “A Home” (written by Sharp and her father, longtime country songwriter Randy Sharp), and Cher blasted out “Don’t Come Around Tonite” in 1995.

Beyond liking her husky voice, the key thing here is that Maia Sharp is a really good songwriter. Sharp has a strong track record already and has been recording since the late 1990s. Her songs have been recorded by no less than Cher, The Dixie Chicks, Trisha Yearwood, Kathy Mattea and Paul Carrack. She has Collaborated with Carole King, Jules Shear and Art Garfunkel, among others. 

There’s nothing rootsy or power-ballad-friendly about “Backburner,” from Sharp’s new album, “Mercy Rising“. Odes to regret and missed opportunities have been part of the pop lexicon since people first began sitting down at pianos to compose parlour songs. But on “Backburner” there is some clever wordplay going on in the third track on “Mercy Rising” one of the singles … its a hell of a way to say turn the flame up higher, when I put you on the backburner you set the place on fire…— cowritten with Anna Schulze, an artist in her own right who’s made collaborative records with Sharp under the name Rosco & Etta — adds a grabby lyrical conceit that freshens up the genre.

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