A warm & fuzzy feel­ing

Singer-song­writer Cosy Sheri­dan to per­form Jan. 19 in North East

Cecil Whig - - ACCENT - By MAR­CUS DIETERLE mdi­[email protected] ce­cil­whig.com

— 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.

NORTH EAST

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.

PHO­TOS COUR­TESY OF COSY SHERI­DAN

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.

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