Linda Sharar
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Linda Sharar


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"Hudson Current"

Linda Sharar
Rock Road Records

Linda Sharar is at the age where friends are birthing children and loved ones are passing away. For an artist first experiencing sudden loss, it can be emotionally devastating. Ironically it can also lead to high level art. Any Second Street is a worthy follow-up to Participate, not only musically, but in the context of her own personal maturing process. I interviewed Sharar over the phone many years ago and still feel frustrated I never got to that inner part of who she is. Who she is, is an intelligent talent who feels deeply about things other than her own specific angst. Yes, she will use her experiences as a starting point, but always there is a universal focus, a genuine caring for the outsider, the insecure, the victim.

In pieces like Come To Life, I Know Your Worth, Fire In The Coals, Arturo's Sons and Daughters and Last Words, her compassion and humanism dominate. She is a melodic cheerleader, a frustrated idealist, a positivist, whose message of adaption, reinvention, doing whatever is necessary to improve one's situation is unwavering. Even in the face of stark cruelty, Sharar believes in people, their strength and resiliancy.

Her soothing, harmonic singing is balanced with stinging guitar (Ian Kennedy) and Dave Mattacks' percussion. Unabashedly romantic in Was That Me?, she conveys quiet resignation elegantly, aided by Tom Halter's smoldering trumpet, and Mike Rivard on acoustic bass. A love affair that perhaps existed only in her head gives this:

'How do you grieve a non-memory / the promise of love unfulfilled / extending your arms / aching for warmth / but left to the night / and the cold and the chill...'

She thanks Nathan Thompson for co-writing and so should we.

Her understated anger and irony fill God Is Good, sung through gritted teeth. Stephanie Winters' cello embellishes the mood, which conveys a sense of helplessness at tragedy and loss. You Center Me is such a beautiful poem to true love; even after they've parted she has something to return to in her mind to give her reason to cope. Dean Steven's powerful, yet simple Old Man In His Garden has a familiar, though still effective metaphor of flora vs. humans accepting mortality with dignity. That's a word that can be ascribed to the closer, Last Words, and to Sharar herself.

'Do not be careless with those who take risks / to show you generosity / 'cause it's not a weakness to lend forgiveness / or yield to love's velocity.'

Being vulnerable is part of being human, as is trusting, reaching out, sharing. The randomness of misfortune only makes life more precious. Simple, elegant, emotional. That is Sharar's handprint. - Joe Del Priore


Linda Sharar
Rock Road Records

Linda Sharar, a gentle voice for these troubled times. ANY SECOND STREET is the Rock Road records debut release from this East Coast singer/songwriter. This is just what we need to hear right now. Even the title is a timely echo of what we are all feeling. As Linda explains it, she lost a couple of very close friends over the past few years. Nearly everyday she finds herself driving down Second Street in her Boston-area neighborhood. In a thoughtful play on words, she refers to the fragility of life with the title, ANY SECOND STREET. It can happen at any second. Amen.

Since the music fits my mood these days, I hope that doesn't cloud my judgment. But I did listen to this CD before 9/11 happened, and even then, I was impressed with this tasteful blend of light folk rock. The sound is sort of Indigo Girls (with one less girl). Much of the credit might belong to Producer Tom Dube. His subtle touch gives this album a depth that becomes more obvious with each play.

At the core of it all, are the songs. Sharar keeps it basic, but still says so much. The CD opens with 'Come To Life,' an optimistic call to embraceable arms. The sound of the approaching snare drum makes you sit up and take notice. And when Sharar penned 'God is Good,' she thought she was writing about the aching pain of the loss of a loved one. But listen to the lines "God is good. God is strange. Shall we thank him for our pain." Think about that lyric as you reflect on the events of recent times.

And now a word about Camp Hoboken. Sharar was a member of this loosely organized co-op of artists and musicians based in Hoboken, New Jersey. They were quite active in the mid-nineties in writing and teaching and learning from one another. Linda was definitely paying attention in class. On a personal note, I met several of the campers a few years ago while I was attending a memorial concert for a dear friend in Hoboken. They are a sweet and peaceful people. On another personal note, after the concert, I remember spending several minutes sitting on my car in a Hoboken parking lot, just staring at the New York City skyline. No more needs to be said about that.

If you pin me to the mat and force me to list my favorite cuts on this record, I would include the above-mentioned tracks and 'Ninety-Nine Years.' For reasons that are obvious to Linda and me, that cut would be at the top of my list. The late Don Brody, one of the founding members of Camp Hoboken, wrote it. He and Linda's sister, Connie Sharar were The Marys. If you have a stack of back issues of MBL lying around, check out my 1998 best CDs of the year list to learn more about the Marys. 'Ninety-Nine Years' is the story of a man who is condemned to live in a dream, a dream that always ends. But it's the opening line that reaches your soul. 'I used to live for the moment.' We all did.

BOTTOM LINE: ANY SECOND STREET is a collection of contemplative songs set to a blend of light pop with a pinch of jazz flavoring. And it's all rooted in folk. There is much more here than first meets the ear. We have a tendency to turn to our folk singers at times like these. Will Linda Sharar still sound so right in another year? Count on it. Talent lasts. - Tom Swope

"Northeast Performer Magazine"

Among the many standount tracks [on the Respond Compilation, is] Linda Sharar's breezy Any Kind Of Love, an upbeat slice of Nashville-country pop. - unknown


Everyday (2008)
Any Second Street (2001)
Participate (1998)
Linda Sharar 4 Song Demo (1997)

Listen to Linda on iTunes at

Oasis Acoustic Sampler (2001): 'I Know Your Worth'
Respond Compilation (1998) 'Any Kind of Love'
Best of Boston Compilation (1998) 'Pay the Rent'
Camp Hoboken Vol II (1997) "Nathan (the City)";"Come And Be Known To Me"
Fast Folk - New Voices NYC (1995) "Nathan (the City)"
Camp Hoboken Vol I (1995) "The Mystery", "Carriage Horse"



I have been a performing songwriter for over 25 years, with three independently released CDs. I have toured mostly the East coast, performing at some of the best US venues for songwriters, including Club Passim, the Iron Horse, the Bottom Line, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and the Dogwood Festival in Atlanta.

Being a performing songwriter has taught me all the skills of owning a business. I've learned the hard way how to budget, plan, produce, manufacture, and bring a product to market. I've used partnerships with large websites like and, as well as independent websites like to promote/sell my songs for profit with some success. I tend to use my music to fund-raise for charities that are important to me, and was instrumental in the success of the first RESPOND compilation, which raised over $150,000 for the RESPOND shelter in Somerville MA and was hailed as the "Top album of 1999" by Billboard Magazine.

2008 Kerrville Folk Festival - Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Finalist!
Great American Music Awards - honorable mention for "Any Kind of Love"
We Are Listening Singer Songwriter Awards - honorable mention for "A Little Will Do"

"'Everyday' shows a vulnerability in Linda’s voice reminiscent of the shy and hungry New York folksinger she was fifteen years ago, but now with the confidence that comes from all the positives she’s layered on her life—sister, spouse, mother. Linda Sharar is an amazing songwriter, and this album shines.” —Christian Bauman, author of "In Hoboken", "Voodoo Lounge" and "The Ice Beneath You".

"Linda Sharar has made a name for herself in the music scenes of New York and Boston as a founding member of Camp Hoboken musical co-operative, and as an artist/producer of the Boston-based Respond Compilations. Linda's percussive folk-rock sensibility on the guitar, combined with thoughtful, poetic lyrics and strong melodies, appeals to mainstream pop, rock and folk audiences alike. In her performances, she weaves a rich tapestry of stories and emotion you will enjoy getting lost in."

Daniel Gewertz of the Boston Herald wrote: "One hint of a singer-songwriter's maturation is the company she keeps. Linda Sharar's sophomore effort, 'Any Second Street' boasts a whole crew of Boston's finest musicians: guitarist Duke Levine (Mary Chapin Carpenter), drummer Dave Mattacks (Richard Thompson), bassists Mike Rivard and Richard Gates, and singers Catie Curtis and Christopher Williams, among others. The album, graced by an acute awareness of the fragility of life, is dedicated to two songwriters who died far too early: Alexis Shepard and Don Brody." Friday, July 6, 2001

Some of Linda's performance highlights:

Kerrville Folk Festival 2008, Grassy Hill New Folk Songwriting Contest
Maxwell's, Hoboken NJ 2008, Reunion gig with Camp Hoboken for Christian Bauman's "In Hoboken" book release party.
Music Under the Stars Series 2006 Reunion gig with Camp Hoboken friend and musical co-conspirator Gregg Cagno.
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival 2005 - with Annie Wenz, Tom Prasada-Rao, Susan Werner, et. al. in the Rachel Bissex Tribute.
Black Potatoe Festival 2003 - solo set and backing Gregg Cagno on Main Stage leading up to Jorma Kaukonen
Baltimore Pride Festival 2002 solo on Main Stage, in lineup with SONIA and many others.
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival 1999 - showcase with several artists from the first Respond Compilation.
Dogwood Festival, Atlanta GA 1999 - in the round with Chris Bauman and Gregg Cagno of Camp Hoboken.
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival 1998 - showcase with Camp Hoboken and on the main stage backing Dar Williams.
Bottom Line Cabaret, NYC 1998 - Don Brody Tribute with Camp Hoboken, Dar Williams, Marshall Crenshaw and many others.
Club Passim, Cambridge MA 1996-present - 2 full-house CD release concerts and various solo/ITR shows.