Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Being the daughter of country songwriter Randy Sharp (who wrote hits for Clay Walker, Patty Loveless, and others) helped give Maia Sharp a leg up on her way to a musical career. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley of the '70s didn't hurt, either; that was the era of Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, and Rickie Lee Jones, and music was in the Southern California air. By age 12, Sharp was noodling around on the piano, saxophone, oboe, and guitar. Fast forward to her early twenties, and she could be found on-stage at one of L.A.'s many acoustic venues performing her own jazz/folk songs to an engaged throng of fans. When not on-stage, Sharp was collaborating with artists such as Carole King, Jules Shear, Lisa Loeb, and Jonatha Brooke.
It was Sharp's songwriting that won the attention of manager Miles Copeland, who signed her to his new Ark 21 label and released her debut album, Hardly Glamour, in 1997. That year, Sharp was nominated for Triple-A radio's Artist of the Year, and the album track "Parting Request" was also included on the soundtrack for The Mighty. She also shared the stage with Bruce Cockburn, Vonda Shepard, and David Wilcox, among others. As a songwriter, Sharp has had tunes recorded by Bonnie Raitt, the Dixie Chicks, Cher, Keb' Mo', Art Garfunkel, Trisha Yearwood, Kim Richey, Amanda Marshall, and Paul Carrack.
In 1998, Sharp recorded her follow-up album, Tinderbox, and after parting ways with her label, released it independently. The new millennium saw her teaming with Art Garfunkel and Buddy Mondlock, and getting a track on the highly acclaimed debut from Shivaree. Spring 2002 brought her back to the performance forefront, as she hit the road with Keb' Mo' and Jonny Lang and also issued her self-titled debut for Concord. In 2005, Fine Upstanding Citizen followed, garnering positive reviews. Four years later, she released Echo and toured with Raitt. During 2011, she helped write and produce Edwin McCain's Mercy Bound, and the following year, released her own album, the self-produced Change the Ending.