Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pheaturing Sheila Swift

Hello, welcome to the Phile, how are you? Were you good yesterday on Good Friday? When I was growing up my mom... or mum as we called her, used to tell us that Good Friday was the day you had to be especially good otherwise the Easter Bunny wouldn't bring any toys and candy. You can imagine how good we were on Good Friday. The Department of Justice shut down the biggest online poker sites for violating the law. None of the poker players saw it coming because they were all wearing those stupid little sunglasses. The poker sites broke the same law that prevents the banks from transferring money to offshore accounts. Now if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that Uncle Sam isn’t going to let banks screw people over. President Obama’s critics are lashing out over him shutting down the poker sites. Sarah Palin called it an overreaction, Tim Pawlenty said it was irrational, and Donald Trump said, “Be sure to watch ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’” Elton John announced that he will be doing three years of shows at Caesars Palace. If you don’t know it, it’s a gaudy old landmark that’s past its best — and Caesars Palace is a casino. So, the 2011 Pulitzer prizes were given out for excellence in journalism and as usual, I didn’t win a thing. Most of you don’t think of me as a journalist — because I’m not. I don’t get my news from the paper anymore, I just get it from my iPhone. The news is always the same: no service. The people of Denmark are the happiest in the world. That confuses me because the only Dane I know is Hamlet and his whole monologue was about if he should kill himself. The Danes are great because they gave us Great Danes. Denmark is the happiest nation, and Sweden and Finland are No. 2 and No. 3. I call these countries the “axis of perky.” Charlie Sheen was an hour late for his show in Washington, D.C. and he tweeted a picture of his police escort. Aren’t the police supposed to take Charlie Sheen from places? Queen Elizabeth celebrated her birthday. Congratulations, your royalness. More than 100 tornadoes struck the South. Mississippi and Tennessee were actually blown into one big state. I think these storms are God’s way of sending us a message. I think that message is that when warm humid air masses surge northward from the Gulf of Mexico and combine with a strong jet stream, it can result in severe weather conditions. If you see a tornado coming toward you, please make sure you have your camera ready. President Obama is in Los Angeles raising money for his campaign and meeting with Dr. 90210 about an ear tuck. So, tomorrow is Easter, right? Wrong! Easter is cancelled, and here on the Phile I have proof. Look...

So, have you ever seen that guy Bear Grylls on TV? I watched his show the other day, and he is nuts. I was surprised to see he has an inspirational poster out though. Check it out.

Speaking of TV, do you know what comes back on tonight? I will show you.

Now, I wanna talk about one of my favorite subjects: me. For almost 23 years I have worked at Epcot, and then I left and worked at the Magic Kingdom for three weeks, and went back to Epcot. Now, after four months I left Epcot again and now I am working at Disney's Hollywood Studios. I cannot tell you where, but I will say the Force is with me.

I am such an idiot! I was supposed to reveal what the 15th book in the Peverett Phile Book Club last Saturday but I totally forgot, so here it is.
"Ultimate Regeneration" is the first book from and the first to be released in the UK by writer and Editor of the site Christian Cawley. The book tells the real-time critical story of "Doctor Who" between the years 2005 and 2010. Featuring essays, articles, reviews and interviews, the full story is put into context with a running commentary on the main events in Doctor Who news and fandom. It includes 60 "Doctor Who" reviews from "Rose" to "The End of Time", "Part Two", and over 30 articles including character, actor and writer profiles.
"Ultimate Regeneration" costs of £14.99, and is available at the already mentioned website. The author Christian Cawley will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is a very talented and attractive singer from Houston, Texas whose new album "Shape of Things" is available on iTunes. She'll be playing at Ferrari Estate at Preston, England on May 28th. Please welcome to the Phile... Sheila Swift.

Me: Sheila, welcome to the Phile, at last! I have to apologize, when I invited Staci Butler and Linda Lambert to the Phile, I thought I invited you, and then I never heard from you, so I was confused, and so were you. And now here we are. How are you?

Sheila: I'm super! Thanks!

Me: So, I had Tish on the Phile a few times, and Linda, and you girls all know each other, right? Are you part of the GoGirls thing as well?

Sheila: I am. I know Tish and Linda really well.

Me: I have to ask, and I know the answer, but I think it's cool. What was your first song you learnt on guitar?

Sheila: Ha! Well, it may not have been the very first, but "Slow Ride" was among the first few I learned with my dad teaching me : )

Me: I don't play it, but people have told me it is easy to learn, is that true? Have you played "Slow Ride" on Guitar Hero?

Sheila: It's pretty easy to pick up. I haven't played it on Guitar Hero, that would probably be harder for me! : )

Me: Sheila, congrats on the twins. How are they, and how old are they now?

Sheila: Thanks! They are 2 and a half now. Two girls: Marley and Dylan. We call them the "Bob"sie twins. : )

Me: And what's it with all you girls who have your husbands in the band with you? Was your husband in your band first, or was he your husband first?

Sheila: Dude! It's free labor! : ) Michael and I were dating before he started playing for me. When we got married he became a lifetime member of the band : )

Me: I downloaded your album "Shape of Things" from iTunes and really, really like it. It's one of my favorite album I downloaded this year so far. It came out a few years ago, right? Are you working on another?

Sheila: Thanks! I released "Shape of Things" in 2007. Since then we've been really lucky that the record has had so much life in it! I am currently working on new songs for my next record which we look to release later this year! It is somewhat of a departure from "Shape of Things" stylistically- with more of a 70's vibe. I am really excited about the new songs and can't WAIT to have folks hear them!!!

Me: Why don't you tell the readers who is on the album with you, who is in your band?

Sheila: I recorded "Shape of Things" in Indiana at Cider Mountain Recorders- an AWESOME studio, awesome owners! And on that record you hear Jeff Marino on drums (he also plays for Darius Rucker) and Joeie Canaday on bass (Lee Ann Rimes' bass player). My band is a super group of guys: Michael Hurst (my husband) on guitar, Matthew "Preach" Batiste on drums, Kin-Folk on bass, and our newest member John Rigdon on lead guitar! I also play guitar on a few songs and of course sing and write : )

Me: What's with the album cover though? It's your body, but no face. Who made that decision? They should be fired. LOL.

Sheila: Oh no! HA! My mistake! I made that call- my face is on the back... but I guess if you download it, you don't get that huh? Sorry! I'll make sure to put my mug on the next one- just for you! : )

Me: Did you write all the songs?

Sheila: Yes sir! I wouldn't have it any other way! : ) Although as it is now, the band has really stepped up and is contributing to the music more than ever. I am still writing lyrics and melody, but I have help now with the music so our sound is opening up so more!

Me: You did a video for the opening track "Feel Like I Do", which looked like it was a lot of fun. Is that the only video you made?

Sheila: It is the only video I've made and it was a lot of fun. But to be honest, I'd love to do it over becuase that was made right after the twins were born and I have lost 50 pounds since then!!! I look like a different person! : )

Me: Was that done in 2007 as well?

Sheila: No, the video was in 2009, a few months after the twins were born.

Me: Sheila, I saw you were also a painter? Is that your first love or is music? What kind of stuff do you paint?

Sheila: Music will always be my first love. Painting came later- during university. I paint non-representational pieces, mostly oil on canvas. I also really enjoy photography and graphic design.

Me: Do you draw as well?

Sheila: Not at all! I can draw a mean stick figure and that's about it. I am a great doodler though : )

Me: I have to ask you about this, Sheila, when you were 12 you were diagnosed with a brain tumor. Do you remember much about that?

Sheila: Yes, I remember a lot because it has shaped who I am today in so many ways- especailly emotionally and spiritually. I talk about it more in depth on my website if you'd like to know more: (under bio).

Me: How long did you suffer?

Sheila: Honestly, Jason, I have never felt as though I "suffered". I view my experience as a blessing because God has protected me from a lot and revealed to me my purpose early in life. I feel lucky to go out there and sing and encourage others in whatever situation they may be facing!

Me: How do you feel now? How was it diagnosed? Did you get a lot of headaches as a kid? I get migraines once in awhile and years ago they checked to see if I had a tumor.

Sheila: I can honestly say I am GREAT right now! I do get migraines and they are NO fun; but like anything else, you deal with it and you move on. The tumor was diagnosed in 1997 because I had passed out, hit my head, and my mom took me to the ER. They did a cat scan and discovered the mass. For several years I was watched and had constant MRI's to see if there was any growth, which awesomely enough there never was. More than likely, the tumor stopped growing at puberty (RIGHT when they found it!). There is a tangle of blood vessels around the tumor (an AVM) they also looks like it cut off the tumor's blood supply so it was unable to grow! The doctors actually think that that tangle is a healed anerism that I was probably born with! All in all I feel like I am a walking miracle!

Me: You must really worry about your little girls.

Sheila: Of course, but I have to place them in God's hands and trust that He has their little lives covered just like He was covered me with so much grace and healing! : )

Me: Okay, enough of this depressing shit. So, you toured England and going back? How long ago was that?

Sheila: Whew... I thought you'd never move on... Just kidding! YES! England! LOVED it! Michael and I went to the UK in 2007 and toured around England and Wales for 2 weeks and had the BEST time! We're going back this May!!!

Me: How did the Brits receive you?

Sheila: Oh my gosh! I LOVE the Brits, and I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual! It was so funny because since we are Texans they loved to tease us about our accents and saying "Y'all". One guy in a pub in Wales came up to us and asked us if we knew who shot JR (from the old TV show "Dallas"). Michael causually looked at him and said "I did". It was great! : )

Me: Where did you play and did you get to sightsee any?

Sheila: We played all over, but the best place, hands down, was at The Vault at the Hard Rock Cafe (the original in Knightsbridge). We did get a chance to sightsee! We stopped at a bunch of old castles in Wales, we went to Stonehenge, and of course we did the Tower of London. I'll never forget that because I stomped around shoeless at the Tower because some Finnish guy behind me in line stepped on my flip flop and broke it, so I went to the guards office and they wrapped my foot in packing tape so I didn't have to be totally barefoot! HA! The guards name was Terry and he said the makeshift shoe was compliments of the Queen. : )

Me: I was born in London and lived in Oxford for a few years in the 80's... 30 minutes from Stonehenge and I did not see it. I am an idiot.

Sheila: BUMMER! You HAVE to go! It was BEYOND amazing!!!

Me: Do you do a lot of travelling and touring? I can't imagine with two little girls.

Sheila: We rounded out 2010 with 89 shows- so I do get out as much as I can!

Me: Ever been down to Disney World? You gotta come down to visit sometime, play the House of Blues here.

Sheila: I have! I can't wait to take the girls when they are a bit older! And I would love to play HOB... will you hook me up? : )

Me: Sheila, I hope this was a fun interview, and I really thank you for being here. Come back when your next project comes out. Maybe I can have all you GoGirls in one big interview. Why don't you plug your websites, Facebook, Twitter and anything else you wanna?

Sheila: Thanks Jason! You rock! Yeah, keep up with me on,, And of course my webpage: : )

Me: Are their any charities you wanna plug as well?

Sheila: Yes!!!! The Layla Grace Foundation is very dear to my heart. The Marsh family lost little Layla in March, 2010, and since then have founded a charity which funds research in childhood cancer and also exists to empower parents dealing with their child's illness. Donations help us to discover new treatment options for children with high-risk cancer.

Me: Take care, keep in touch, and get back in that studio.

Sheila: Thanks!

That about does it for another entry. The Phile will be back in two days on Monday, where the guest will be singer JJ Brine from the band CodeCracker. Thanks to Sheila for a great interview and to you for reading this blog. Have a good Easter. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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