Songs and Stories #89 and #90: “Along the Way” with Sharon Allen

Back in episode #42, singer/songwriter Sherry Austin referred to Sharon Allen as “Santa Cruz’s own Emmylou”. After listening to these next couple of episodes, you’ll probably agree. I met Sharon about nine years ago when she was still singing with local blues band The Firebirds and had just started playing a bit with Sherry. These days she’s part of Sherry’s band *and* has just finished her first solo CD, “Along the Way”.

In this “Songs and Stories” two-parter, Sharon talks about her journey from growing up in Maryland to living here on the west coast and how music’s always been a part of that. She also explains the approach that she took when recording her first album…and we end up with the best look at the entire process (from pre-production, recording, mixing, to the final packaging decisions) that I think I’ve ever heard.

Show update: Sharon and her band will be at the Redwood Mountain Faire in Felton, CA on Saturday June 5th. (And by complete coincidence, I’ve just been added to the bill.) For more info, check out Sharon’s calendar, my Shows page, or just head to

In episode #89, we hear Sharon’s story about growing up back east, how she’s always loved to sing and dance, how she found her way to California, and what led her to decide to make her own solo record. We also reminisce about the time she and Sherry dropped into our camp at the Strawberry Music Festival.

Click to hear episode #89 (time = 40:16, size = 36.9 mb)

Episode #90 includes live performances of “Jarrod’s Song” a cover “Live Forever” and a bit of “Take My Hand” from the new record. We also continue our chat about how her new CD found its way into the world.

Click to hear episode #90 (time = 33:03, size = 30.31 mb)

New sponsor (and a free downloadable audiobook): I’m trying out a new podcast sponsorship through Go to, sign up for a 14-day trial, and receive a free audiobook just for listening. If you cancel the trial, you still keep the book. (Listen to these two episodes to hear Sharon’s recommendations.)

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