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Maia Sharp headlines concert series

IRONTON – Just four years ago, Maia Sharp achieved the dream she set out to accomplish: To work and perform with Bonnie Raitt.

Since that day in 2005 when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee invited the Los Angeles-based, singer-songwriter to open and perform with her on the road, Sharp’s career has taken off. So much so, that it’s Sharp’s turn to be the headliner.

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, Sharp will bring her musical and multi-instrumental talents, along with her fourth solo release “Echo,” to Ohio University Southern for a performance at the Riffe Center’s Mains Rotunda.

Sharp’s Ironton appearance kicks off the east coast leg of her 2009 fall tour that has stops in Nashville, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. She is the daughter of popular country songwriter Randy Sharp who has written songs for Clay Walker, Patty Loveless, and Reba McEntire.

According to Sharp, “Echo,” heralds her ascension into the spotlight after being embraced by Raitt, Carole King, the Dixie Chicks, Art Garfunkel, Terri Clark and Trisha Yearwood.

“Echo is the first album I’ve ever done where there’s truth in every single song,” Sharp said on her MySpace page. “I know it sounds cheesy, but whether I knew it or not, truth always found a way into them. Sometimes I was halfway through writing a song before I realized that something I thought was just a nice opening line or a hook in the chorus was actually about something that had absolutely happened to me.”

Sharp claims 2005 was the year that her path toward recording “Echo” opened unexpectedly. She says it began when Raitt released her album “Souls Alike” with three Sharp songs in the lineup. That album also featured Sharp’s backup on those and several other tracks, which led to her joining Raitt on tour.

The free performance starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. The concert is part of the university’s “Diversity Series.”