Sheryl Crow Opens Up About 'Euphoric' Return to the Stage: 'It Feels Like a Lot of Time Has Been Lost'
The singer-songwriter talks to PEOPLE as she prepares for her latest live stream concert Sheryl Crow: The Songs And The Stories — A Live Solo Performance from her Nashville home
Sheryl Crow couldn't be more ecstatic about performing again.
After the global pandemic canceled nearly all live performances, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is ready to get back to playing her hit-packed discography for fans.
The first step is a live stream concert titled Sheryl Crow: The Songs and the Stories - A Live Solo Performance, which will tell the stories of the star's biggest songs and most-beloved deep cuts.
"I've never done a full show where I just play by myself, so I think people will feel like they're seeing something completely different out of me," Crow tells PEOPLE exclusively. "For me, it was really fun to just sit and tell stories about some of these songs that people know, but don't know the stories behind."
The event will take place in a private meditative space on her stunning 50-acre Nashville property, giving viewers an inside look at her home life.
"It's in a really cool atmosphere. I have a little old church on my property and it's just filled with religious crap," she describes. "It's a good vibe-y place, and hopefully people will be inspired."
For Crow, 59, the event is a chance to uplift music fans like herself who have missed the experience of live music over the last year.
"I think we need it right now. I think we've been through a really hard year, a really devastating time," she says. "Music can be something soothing and it can also take your mind away from what's going on at least for a couple of hours."
The idea for the live stream came amid the "crazy things" the "Soak Up the Sun" performer brought into her life during quarantine, like adopting animals, planting gardens and raising baby chicks and even getting her own chicken coop.
"This was just one more of those crazy circumstances where I found myself digging back into my catalog," she admits. "I've got like 25, 30 years of songs and never just had the opportunity to sit and kind of dig in, with the luxury of being home with nothing to do."
"In fact, my kids thought it was super strange that I was playing the guitar so much and I had to explain to them that it was something I really liked doing. It's not just my work," Crow adds. "It really made me want to share some of those deep cuts with people and talk about what inspired the writing of them."
Crow was also inspired to put together a new live album titled Live from the Ryman & More, which will be released in August and create another way for fans to experience the multi-instrumentalist live without leaving their homes.
"It's not perfect, but it's very live and you will feel like you were there," she explains. "And at a time when we can't get out and see music, it's great to have that for people to listen to, particularly those that weren't there to experience what it was like in the room."
While she feels fortunate to have the ability to work from home, the musician points out that nothing compares to "the magic of everyone being together" to experience music together, and she had concerns after having been off the road for such a long time.
"I've been around for a long time and you start to wonder, 'Will people still want to come out and see me play?,'" she questioned. "It feels like a lot of time has been lost, but we played for the first time in 431 days in Florida about a month ago, and it just felt so euphoric. I think the audience just felt so celebratory that we were actually able to be together, even though the circumstances were a little bit different."
One thing that has brought Crow joy at home has been the unique amount of quality time she got to spend with sons Levi, 11, and Wyatt, 14, which she would "hate to see go away" as life returns to normalcy.
"Life becoming far more simple, meal time together, my kids being bored and finding things to do outside - those things in quarantine were gifts and I don't take that lightly," she reveals. "The things that I hate to see go back to normal are the hectic-ness of life and the more trivial things. I hope we can take away from this experience that desire to help each other and to show up for each other."
Knowing that everyone was off the road gave her the rare peace of mind to just sit back at home and take advantage of a "slowed down" life that no one in her family was used to before.
"My boys have spent every single summer on a tour bus, and while they've loved it, it's been great for us to be home and to use nature as our playground," she says. "They would say, 'We're bored,' and I would say, 'You've got a creek at the bottom of the driveway, you've got a trampoline, you've got chickens, you've got bicycles, go find something to do.' I think it's really valuable for kids to experience that, to say 'No more screens, use your imagination and find things to do.' And they did!"
Preparing for the live stream also provided a rare chance for Crow's kids to truly understand what a huge part music has played in most of her life.
"How great for them to be around while I was preparing to do this storytelling project and for them to get to see why I wrote these songs," she exclaims. "For them to be inspired by the fact that what I do for a living is more than a job; it's a part of who I am and it's also a travelogue of my entire life, so it was good for them to see that and to see the work that went into it."
Sheryl Crow: The Songs and the Stories - A Live Solo Performance will live stream on June 18 and tickets are now on sale.
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