A warm & fuzzy feeling
Singer-songwriter Cosy Sheridan to perform Jan. 19 in North East
— Cosy Sheridan was 9 years old when her babysitter taught her how to play guitar. Her 15 year-old babysitter showed her how to play an A chord, a B chord and an E chord, and they worked their way up to playing “Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds.
“It was just fun from the first moment,” she recalled. “I really enjoyed it. I liked being alone in my room playing guitar.” Sheridan’s birth name is Cornelia, but everyone in her life has called her “Cosy” ever since she was 6 weeks old and her father gave her the nickname “because he thought I was warm and fuzzy.” Sheridan will be performing Jan. 19 at the North Elk Coffee House at St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church, located at 315 S. Main St. in North East. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Proceeds from the show benefit Meeting Ground, a nonprofit organization that serves people experiencing homelessness in Cecil County. The suggested donation for admission to the event is $10 for adults and $6 for those under age 18. Desserts, snacks, coffee, tea, soda, and water will also be available for a suggested donation of $1 each. However, anyone who cannot pay the suggested amount will not be turned away, according to Pam Green, volunteer publicist for the coffeehouse.
Early on, Sheridan listened to her sister’s and brother’s Joni Mitchell and Peter, Paul and Mary records. Later she found herself listening to artists like Shawn Colvin and Bonnie Raitt.
“I found these women musicians whose music I found appealing and I wanted to emulate,” she said.
As a budding musician, Sheridan started writing songs about topics on many teenagers’ minds like whichever boyfriend who had recently broken her heart or a diet that wasn’t working as planned. But during those early years, she still tried to echo her musical idols’ sounds.
Sheridan continues to draw inspiration from those musicians, but she has also worked to create a unique voice and carve out her own place in the music world.
Her music carries a certain folksy, bluesy quality and incorporates percussive guitar sounds in a combination of humorous and serious songs. But even today, Sheridan said her voice as a musician continues to take shape.
“I think that’s something that’s still changing. My voice is still evolving,” she said.
Sheridan took her show on the road in 1992, and she has travelled the country far and wide in those over 25 years.
“I think I’ve been to almost every state. I’ve even been to Alaska and Hawaii,” she said.
When she isn’t’ traveling the country and sharing her craft, Sheridan teaches music at the Moab Folk Camp, an adult music camp that she co-founded in Moab, Utah.
Had she not pursued a career in music and teaching songwriting, Sheridan said she would have liked to be a therapist because both professions provide the opportunity to help people tell their own stories.
“There’s a sense of being able to help people [as a songwriting teacher] that, as a performing artist, I don’t always get … It’s very gratifying to be with them as they discover that they, too, can do this,” she said.
Sheridan will be accompanied at the Jan. 19 show by her musical partner and former student, Charlie Koch, on bass. Koch also just so happens to be Sheridan’s husband.
They met in 2012 while Sheridan was teaching at a music camp for adults. After the week had ended and they were no longer teacher and student, the pair struck up a romantic and musical relationship that has carried on ever since.
Attendees at the North Elk Coffee House show can expect a set full of hits from her album “My Fence and My Neighbor” and others.
In the eponymous song, Sheridan sings about leaning on her fellow person in times of turmoil.
She said the song, written in January 2017, was inspired by the state of the nation after the presidential inauguration.
“I was feeling kind of frightened. The world was changing and there was a lot of tumult … I was really wishing I knew my neighbor,” she recalled.
Sheridan said the message of “My Fence and My Neighbor” is echoed in North Elk Coffee Houses’ own mission to support the county’s homeless population.
“The more we can look at all the people in our communities, including those who walk the streets, the more we’ll feel we can belong in the world,” she said.
Sheridan has performed in North East a couple times before, and she said she is excited to return to the town.
“I love playing in any sorts of community coffee houses because I love having these people in a room and having them discover ‘Look at all we have in common’ … It’s almost like I get to become part of that community for a night,” she said.
Folk singer-songwriter Cosy Sheridan will perform at the North Elk Coffee House at St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church on Jan. 19. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds from the show will benefit Meeting Ground, a nonprofit organization that serves people experiencing homelessness in Cecil County.
Cosy Sheridan performs at a show in 2014 with her husband and music partner, Charlie Koch.