“100 Miles From Memphis”

I saw Sheryl Crow in concert for the first time in September 1998. John was (and still is!) a huge Sheryl Crow fan and she was two hours away, so we went.

Fast forward eight years and two kids later and we saw her again, this time in our home town. It was a much smaller show, we were in the tenth row — much closer than the cheap balcony seats we could afford in college. Both shows were great, both time she played the piano, which I love, and she played all of my favorites. But then I like nearly everything she’s done so not hard for me to like every single song.

I learned yesterday (via Twitter) that she’s coming within two hours of us (the same city where we saw her the first time even) in October and releasing a new album “100 Miles from Memphis” on July 20. I’m quite excited about both! Looking forward to some new stuff, but more than that I want to know where she’s at, in life, in her thoughts, in her experiences.

My experience with her music is that it’s written in the moment, written in the mindframe of what she’s thinking about, the issues and concerns and stresses, etc. that she’s dealing with. Her early stuff (Tuesday Night Music Club, Sheryl Crow, Globe Sessions) was a lot of heart break and dealing with rough places in life. When Wildflower came out in 2005 (during the time that was with Lance), I remember John saying the album was too happy because Sheryl was happy. Good for her to be happy, I thought, but he had a good point that a lot of the songs definitely had a more positive spin and the lyrics not as deep into the soul as the stuff where she was hurting.

“Detours,” on the other hand, is a lot more back to those unhappy times, parts of it written after the break-up. I mean, really, who would dispute that Diamond Ring isn’t a direct response to Lance calling off the engagement. But around the same time Detours was finishing up, Sheryl became a mom, and included on the album is Lullaby for Wyatt, her son. So I’m looking forward to the album to see how Sheryl’s doing, to see what she’s thinking in this season of life, and perhaps to put into lyrics and to music some of my own feelings from similar periods.


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