One night, one stage, two fantastic singer-songwriters.
Both artists have a lot going on right now, and I’ll start with Sharp. She’s celebrating the 20-year anniversary of her debut album “Hardly Glamour,” home to “I Need This To Be Love,” one of my favorite songs of hers: “You get a thrill from causing trouble/Life has offered nothing more/So we kept it to the back roads, looking for an easy score/I need this to be love.”
“The Apology” is another gem off that record with its funky vibe. Sharp told me that she’s spruced up a few of the old tracks, added real drums and strings and re-sang, remixed and remastered it to give it a new life. She emailed me “I Need This To Be Love” version 2.0, and it’s fantastic.
In 2002, Sharp released a self-titled album that’s home to “Willing to Burn,” which I think is the first song of hers I ever heard: “But I’m living in a powder keg/Hosing down the roof/It’s raging all around me and I still refuse to move/There’s a lesson I’m desperate to learn/I’m willing to burn.” I still hear it from time to time on local station WCLZ.
Sharp’s always had a knack for songwriting, and I’m far from the only person who thinks so. Her songs have been recorded by the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Cher and The Dixie Chicks among others. My favorite song will probably always be “Long Way Home,” also from the 2002 album. It’s a brutal tale of love turned sour, and Sharp nails it.
Here’s “Long Way Home”
If you need further proof of Sharp’s ability to rip your heart out with her wordsmithing, head to 2015’s “Dash Between the Dates” and listen to “I Don’t Want Anything to Change.” Bonnie Raitt recorded it on her 2005 album “Souls Alike,” and I’m so glad Sharp finally did too. Sharp’s also an exceptional sax and keys player, and I’ve seen her live enough times to tell you that she always put on a sensational show. Sharp said that she and Curtis will sit in with each other on a few songs during each other’s sets and will likely end the night with something together.
Here’s Maia Sharp with Bonnie Raitt performing “I Don’t Want Anything To Change” live together in 2013.
Speaking of Catie Curtis, her recording career dates back to her 1989 debut “Dandelion,” and 14 have followed, including “While We’re Here,” released earlier this year. Along the way, she’s had songs featured on TV shows “Dawson’s Creek,” “Chicago Hope” and “Felicity,” along with a couple of films.
Now a Bostonian, Curtis made a big announcement in December, and it’s all the more reason to make every effort to catch this Portland show. In a post on her website (catiecurtis.com), she wrote that she’s embarking on her last tour and calling it “The Final Outing.” She went on to say that “While We’re Here” has themes about letting go, loss and joy-filled resilience that remind her of life’s brevity and how precious it is.
“I am ready to create a new chapter in my life. I took a leap of faith 25 years ago and dropped my ‘day job’ to follow my passions of writing and singing for you. You came through for me with such love and support that I became one of the lucky ones — a touring folk singer making a living with the best fan base ever.” But fear not, Curtis also said she’s not done making music and will continue to write and record.
To recap, both of these artists are worthy of your time, and together, this will be a truly special night from two accomplished singer-songwriters who made an outstanding decision to hit the road together.
8 p.m. Sunday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland, $25 in advance, $30 day of show. onelongfellowsquare.com