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Eikhard, Shirley

Websites:  http://www.shirleyeikhard.ca/
Origin: Sackville, New Brunswick
Biography:

At the stage when most children are getting ready for high school, Shirley Eikhard was playing live and writing songs. Songs that would soon catch the attention of Anne Murray and Chet Atkins, resulting in cuts by both illustrious artists. Her first album, simply entitled "Shirley Eikhard", was released in 1972 on Capitol Records and garnered a Juno Award for Best Country Vocalist. Shirley again won the prestigious Juno in 1973 for Best Country Vocalist.

In 1982, she launched her own record label, Eika Records, and began to take control of her music and career. She quit live performances in 1986 and focused her considerable energy and talent on songwriting. Soon her songs were all over the radio, recorded by artists like Alannah Myles ("Kickstart My Heart", a collaboration with three other writers), two songs by Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt, whose rendition of "Something To Talk About" won a Grammy Award. Cher recorded a Shirley Eikhard song which appears on both her Not Commercial CD (2000) as well as THE VERY BEST OF CHER (2003).

One of Quebec's finest vocalists, Ginette Reno, recorded three of Shirley songs and included them on several Cd compilations as well as Ginette's first english CD in the late 90's called "Love Is All".

In 1995, Shirley began to record again, cutting the album, "If I Had My Way". This disc illustrated Shirley's ability to write and record successfully in many genres, from jazz to blues to pop. In 1996, she followed up with "The Jazz Sessions", resulting in a lifelong dream of working in the jazz tradition. She followed that album with "Going Home" which was distributed internationally by Blue Note Records and which won her a Best Jazz Performance Award at the East Coast Music Awards in Canada.

Two years of performing her music live gave her the impetus to write and record "The Last Hurrah" (2000), an impressive CD featuring some of Canada's finest jazz musicians. A song from this CD, "Tomorrow Is A Lonely Place" won First Prize in the Jazz Category in the 2001 USA International Songwriting Competition.

"End Of The Day" was recorded and released in 2001 and is a CD that was completely instrumental (with the exception of one vocal track) and on which Shirley played all the instruments, including guitar, piano, drums, bass, sax, percussion and chromatic harmonica.

Since The Last Hurrah, Shirley has recorded "Stay Open" (2003) which edges slightly out of the straight jazz vocal territory she's been exploring lately and offers some pop-tinged songs that demonstrate her well-honed songwriting skills and instrumental ability.

In 2005, as a 50th birthday gift to herself, Shirley recorded two CDs; "Pop" and "Country", featuring her personal favourite songs that she has written over the years and for the first time, "Country" includes her own version of her award-winning "Something To Talk About".

"The year, 2006, saw the release of an EP, The Holidays Are Here containing two new holiday originals, in the pop/jazz vein. And in early 2007, Shirley being as prolific as ever, released another full-length CD this time, Stuck In This Groove.

Presently, Shirley is enjoying tremendous success with Riding On The 65, a CD inspired by her love of Bossa Nova, in honour of the 50th anniversary of Bossa Nova's birth."

As a singer and songwriter, Shirley Eikhard has a real command of the breadth of modern musical styles. And her voice, dusky, sensual and full of emotion, puts her at the top of her field. It all adds up to the perfect package: great songs, great arrangements, great vocals.

Shirley Eikhard is the real deal.

In 2009, we introduce "Just Call Me Alice" with yet another expanding musical soundscape of pop songs, written from the subtext of a character, "Alice" that Shirley created out of her love of fun and desire to continue creating new avenues to travel.

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