Paul Simon

Still Crazy After All These Years (Columbia)

Maia Sharp Digs Still Crazy (After All These Years): Singer and songwriter Maia Sharp told us about her love for a Paul Simon classic.



Maia Sharp: When you’ve been listening to music since the moment your tiny new ears came online, the task of choosing a “favorite album” is a challenging one.  My not-so-new ears and I have spent the morning trying to imagine the criteria that only a Favorite Album (capital F and A) would satisfy.  I’m going with the decathlon.  Do all of the following 10 beautiful things apply?  1. Makes me feel better 2. Lets me not feel better if I’m not ready 3. Helps me feel understood 4. Makes me mad at it for songs I wish I’d written 5. Inspires me to play or sing along to it 6. I’ve proudly put it on with a gathering of friends 7. I’ve selfishly put it on when I’m alone 8. I learned something from it 9. I’ve purchased it on vinyl, CD and download (sometimes more than once) and 10. It plays like a full album.  In the small batch of favorites left standing, Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years rose to the surface.

There was always music playing in my childhood home.  Mom and dad were in a band together in high school and dad (Randy Sharp) has been a songwriter/musician/producer my whole life.  Their album collection was like a fine wine cellar with plenty of Paul Simon, Rickie Lee Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Randy Newman and Phoebe Snow.  I was lucky.

Michael Brecker’s perfect saxophone solo in the title cut was one of the first I ever learned off of an album.  “My Little Town” is one of those songs I wish I’d written.  “…As I pledged allegiance to the wall…My mom doing the laundry, hanging up shirts in the dirty breeze.”  Steve Gadd’s pattern on “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” inspired me to buy a drum set.  “Some Folks Lives” had any message I needed to hear when I needed to hear it and it was the first time I recognized a kind of secular gospel in a lyric “here I am lord, I’m knockin’ at your place of business.  I know I ain’t got no business here.”  I already loved Phoebe Snow and there she is on “Gone at Last.”  It’s like there was a magical world where everyone I loved was working together and I wanted in.  In “You’re Kind” the narrator is totally unlikeable in a Randy Newman-like way and really just telling us he’s scared, petty and generally unloved without ever coming out and saying it.  I go back to this album regularly, bringing a little more life and professional experience to each new listen, and “Still Crazy After All These Years” qualifies for the decathlon every time.

Maia Sharp Digs Still Crazy (After All These Years): Maia Sharp’s Reckless Thoughts album is out August 18.








































































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