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Harding, Sherri

For as long as she can remember, Sherri wanted to be a singer.

 As a child, she used to stand on tables in her parents’ used furniture store and belt out “I’m Goin’ Hollywood” from The Little Rascals for bemused customers. Her folks had no money for lessons or instruments, but she managed to “borrow” a cheap guitar from her older brother and spent endless hours immersed in her Mel Bay chord book. School band and church choir followed, along with innumerable basement groups, until she was finally old enough to get into the bars, and her first professional gigs.

 Sherri spent years on the road in various showbands, playing everything from juke joints in the Northwest Territories to Armed Forces shows in Bosnia and the Middle East until home beckoned and she returned to Ottawa. Eventually, like many in a government town, she ended up in the Public Service, but lived a double life, often having her guitar under her desk, ready to head out to a gig directly after 9 to 5.

 In 2016 she got a chance to play with hometown heroes The Cooper Brothers. “I remember feeling so proud singing ‘The Dream Never Dies’ for the first time on stage with them,” says Sherri. “A nicer bunch of guys you’ll never meet.”

 After hearing her voice and realizing that, with all that talent, Sherri really deserved a serious shot, Dick Cooper started writing an album of songs for her during Covid. The result is Sherri’s first original album – A Million Pieces.

 Dick also produced and assembled a stellar line-up for the project that was recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama including David Hood (Last surviving “Swamper”) Kelvin Holly (Little Richard, Bobby Bland etc.) Lynne Williams (Delbert McClinton, the Wallflowers) Clayton Ivey (The Staple Sisters, Thelma Houston) Spooner Oldham (Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge) and the Muscle Shoals Horn Section (Lyle Lovett, Elton John).