Includes “Light as Song” featured in the movie WATERWALK!
Plus Award-winning performance of “From Where I Stand” by Solas B. Lalgee.
Praise from Album Reviewers When Now Is Then
Julie Shearer writes the kind of songs I like to listen to. Her melodies are eminently singable and her lyrics evoke in familiar words situations and feelings we all recognize. She writes both music and words (except for Rob Browning’s words to “Pretty Lies”) as Cole Porter did and Stephen Sondheim does, but the combination of these talents in one person is rare among composers and lyricists for musical theater, which is the model Julie has looked to since she first dreamed of becoming a songwriter.
She tells me these songs are “written from life—situations I experienced or people important to me,” and as a longtime neighbor and friend, I may even think I know the who, what and when in connection with some of them, but of course these have been generalized, as they usually are. Love songs are typically about the first and second persons, less commonly the third, so you won’t find a map to these lovers’ doors. Everyone’s welcome to the comfort and nourishment of this “Home Brew,” and Julie is too good a friend to her friends to tell whose it was.
Inspired by or composed for specific occasions, her songs continue to attract and enrich us by addressing permanent elements of our human condition: our appetence, our transience, perhaps most of all our love of life and of the numberless “good things” of this world. We are invited to dwell on these in one song that recounts a number of them, and in another she celebrates a very bearable lightness of being and of song itself. In her ballads, in a more ruminative mood, time creates beauty and effaces it as lovers act and are acted upon, as “now” fades into “then.”
Her music, various and memorable, awakens expectation and satisfies it, each song in its own way fresh and inevitable and complete in itself. Worshipful or wistful, upbeat or lowdown, after a few hearings it remains in the mind, ready to rekindle for us the joy its author surely felt when it was completed.
-Martin B. Friedman, July 8, 2011
Julie Shearer really knows how to tell a story! She’s lived life fully, and her songs reflect it. There is wisdom in her lyrics. Take, for instance, the poignant “From Where I Stand,” performed by the brilliant pairing of then 19-year-old Solas Burke-Lalgee with pianist Ellen Hoffman. I dare you to listen to this masterpiece without shedding a tear, no matter how often you hear it.
In “Light as Song,” Julie invokes the natural beauty of the world we live in and takes us there through the breath taking harmonies of The T Sisters. And if you aren’t already in love, “Draw Me a Map” (Libby McLaren, vocal, piano; and Robin Flower, guitar) will make you wish you were.
Every story–and every life–must end one day. For those we love, the end comes way too soon. Julie chronicles the life of the late Tom Alexander in “Tom Ever After” with such reverence and respect, that we almost feel we knew him, too. And wish we did!
In these hard times, I must mention the all-important “Five Good Things”–Julie’s valuable reminder to practice gratitude regularly by appreciating five good things every day.. After listening to Julie’s CD, WHEN NOW IS THEN, I’m putting HER and IT on MY list of five!
-Melanie Berzon, Program Director, KCSM Radio
What an eclectic and original selection of songs by Julie Shearer! There is something here for everyone–songs of love, hope, joy, pain, sorrow, a song for children, a sexy blues, a folk song, a hymn, and even a samba. Turn up the temperature with “Home Brew,” dance with your lover to “Dance with Me,” have a quiet moment with the poetry of the elegiac “Light as Song,” and enjoy!
-Dorothy Walker, Afficionado of American Song and Cabaret
I know a little bit about music and I know enough to say that your CD has wonderful music and lyrics. When I hear your tunes, the imagery is vivid. I can picture actors and dancers portraying, on stage, the stories that your songs tell. That’s a gift. That’s a concert I’d like to see.
-Mal Sharpe, Host-KCSM’s Back on Basin Street 91.1 FM
It’s high time I told you again how much I like that CD [When Now Is Then] you sent to me! I’ve played it so many times, and I love telling people about it!
-Barbara Oliver Founding Artistic Director, Aurora Theatre Company
I just listened to your CD packet twice. Your songs go straight to my heart, esp. “Draw Me a Map: and “When Now Is Then.” I just get all teary, they’re so straightforward and don’t mince around, telling it like it is (or we wish it were!). And then there’s “Home Brew,” which surely deserves to be in the pantheon of sexy classics. I love the different voices and, of course, Ellen’s sterling, stunning piano (esp. that nice little Fantasticks riff at the end of “When Now Is Then.”) Brilliant. Thanks for putting these together and getting them out. Can’t wait for more.
I didn’t tell Bill that I had put your CD in the car. When he heard it, he said, “This is great, who is it?” We both love it.
Today I took your CD into the studio and danced to your music – a first! And I’m still moved and amazed and impressed by your voluminous talent.