Shari Ulrich

The Old Church Theatre, Courtenay, BC

Shari's words.... I've been incredibly fortunate on this road. I've released lots of albums (26) and been in lots of trios (3) with remarkably talented, handsome and wonderful men - Rick Scott and Joe Mock of The Pied Pumkin, Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes in UHF, Barney Bentall and Tom Taylor in BTU, and, of course, a gaggle of them in The Hometown Band and now The High Bar Gang. Lucky girl. But my solo career, which began when the Hometown Band's tour support was suddenly cut off by A&M in 1977, the night before we won a JUNO for Best New Group, has been my main path. And that's all about songwriting.

I write about what I know and what I've lived. Some of it is stuff people don't like to talk about, but seem hungry to hear. I didn't intend to be that kind of writer - it just comes out that way.

The rest is about being a musician, and trying to get better at it. I pretty much left the sax and flute behind with The Pied Pumkin, but the violin, which I started playing in grade 4, remains my main instrument. Everything else I've just picked up along the way - piano, guitar, dulcimer and mandolin - all of which I use for writing too.

I've released music in all ways: from the days of Pied Pumkin when we financed our first recording by collecting the names, addresses and $5 from fans, recorded the album, then mailed it off to all those trusting souls who had pre-paid (I'm pretty sure the Pied Pumkin's Squash Records was Canada's first "Indie Label", long before such a term existed); to being signed to world-wide record deals with A&M and MCA; to having my own label, Esther Records. Now I’m back on a label, the highly regarded Borealis Records which makes me very happy.

I've toured every way, too - from traveling across the US and Canada in a fancy tour bus with Valdy and The Hometown Band, to packing a PA, a piano and the dog and driving to Saskatchewan. I've played Maple Leaf Gardens, Massey Hall, Michael and Kathy’s living room, and everything in between. And I've loved it all.