The New England Music Awards took place Friday and Saturday, February 21st and 22nd, 2014, at Umass Lowell Inn & Conference Center and The Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, Mass. I spoke to nominee Sharon Buck about the event, her music, and mean harmonicas.
Buck describes her sound as modern country. “But you can still here the traditional sounds that listeners have grown to love in country music,” she says. “NEVER lose sight of your roots. I think some artists have and I want to bring [them] back around. I want people to relate and enjoy my songs. Even if I personally never win a Grammy, I want my music to. I have so much to offer and so much I want the world to hear. Just hoping for that chance.”
Buck’s music is based in reality. “I try to write about real life situations as much as possible. My song ‘Good Ol’ Country Boys‘ was written when I wanted to know what happened to real men! You know, the ones that are strong but can be sweeties when they want to be. When you go through a divorce, you want the real thing. And I’ve found it in my fiance’, Chad Hood. I have a song we’re recording soon that’s a dedication to Loretta Lynn called ‘Miss Loretta‘. One of my favorites is ‘10 Feet Tall & Bulletproof’. NOT the Travis Tritt song. It’s about helping someone with alcoholism.”
Buck is technically a solo act, but she isn’t going it alone. “It’s my name on the band,” she says, “but I really feel we are a group. This is the first time I’ve been the leader of a band, and it can be challenging with scheduling gigs and practices, and making sure the overall harmony of the group is going well. Everyone has different ideas and to be the final decision maker is sometimes overwhelming, but I’ve learned a lot over the years.”
New England Music Awards
Being nominated for the New England Music Awards was a bit of a surprise. Sharon explains her reaction. “HOW THE??? I was completely blown away that other states besides Maine would take the time to listen to our recordings! Surprise isn’t the word for it…I’m still in shock!
Maine’s Local Scene
“Filled with talent,” is how Buck describes Maine’s local music scene. “There is so much here in Maine that it’s hard to figure who to watch when I have a night off! And they always welcome new bands to help them get a start!”
Buck plays guitar, a little piano and a “mean harmonica.” We asked when she first became interested in music. “Probably when I was born,” she answers. “”I started singing when I was three,” Buck says. “I used to sing the third part harmony when I sang with two of my sisters when I was little. I’ve just started the guitar. There is nothing I love more! I had a teacher that called me ugly and told me I couldn’t sing. That made me even MORE determined to make my way in country music. And I can say now, having sung professionally for 20 years, that I got the last laugh.”
Buck’s enthusiasm and admiration for other songsters is heartfelt. “Billy Joel as a songwriter is AH-MA-ZING!” Buck says. “I LOVE ‘Scenes from an Italian Restaurant’. Of course, Loretta. Shania Twain was my idol growing up. And who doesn’t love Miranda Lambert?”
We asked Buck who her dream lineup would be if she could play with any acts she chose. “I would LOVE to make it a country concert extravaganza!” Buck says. “Of course, to play with Miranda Lambert would be a dream come true! She has SO MUCH energy. We’d work well together. And Shania…HELLO! She was doing everything I was already doing when she was popular! I’d also like to bring back a 90s hit makers, like Tracy Lawrence, David Lee Murphy, Wade Hayes. They had me singing in my hairbrush for hours! I have always said you need to know where you came from before you can go anywhere else!”