EXERT FROM "IN PURSUIT OF HARMONY" PUBLISHED JULY 8, 2015
Small-town charm, world-class acts
BY TANYA ISHIKAWA
Sheryl Clapton is an Americana and roots singer/songwriter who moved with her husband to Montrose two years ago. She plays keyboards, percussion and mandolin, but performs most often with her 12-string guitar. She also performs country music and is working on a recording of hymns from the 1800s, which she is self producing with Adobe Audition software.
“I haven’t found anything I don’t like about the area. I love it. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been,” Clapton said. “There are no disadvantages of which I’m aware. I think there is very strong support of musicians here.”
She grew up and began her career in radio in Albuquerque, always performing and writing music on the side. One of her early music mentors was Jose Ponce, who worked in radio with her as well as producing the New Mexico Music Awards, writing songs, performing and acting.
Before arriving in Montrose, Clapton spent 10 years in Columbia, Missouri where she continued her work as an on-air radio host, songwriter and recording artist.
“To me, Montrose offers the feeling of a city in a beautiful kind of a bowl toward heaven, the mountains framing it. Feel this beautiful air. I love Missouri dearly but you step out in summertime and need to take a shower. Here the air is crisp and invigorating,” she said.
“A musician living here can easily perform in Salt Lake City, Park City, Durango, Nebraska or Kansas. Montrose is close to any of those places, and with the airport, I can jump on a plane and be there more quickly. To me, it’s ideal with the Internet and the ability to have easy access to so many places,” she explained.
She likes the charm of the small community and the energy of the people. She also points to the availability of “wonderful events like Main in Motion” and both indoor and outdoor concerts that bring “a phenomenal selection of world-class talent” to the area.
She added that it has been easy to meet other musicians when she performs at open mics at the True Grit Cafe in Ridgway and Horsefly Brewing Company in Montrose. Some musicians have even sought her out to collaborate while she was performing at farmers markets and other events.
“I find the musicians here positively professional,” she said. “They’re open and receptive and really create some beautiful work.”