Sherri Anne

Sister speaks from the field to the stage

Okanagan-born field hockey player Sherri Anne has made a successful transition to music with her band Sister Speak.

Sherri Anne Nyberg is known for her dexterity, whether handling a hockey stick or a guitar pick.

Known in the music world simply as Sherri Anne, the Kelowna-raised singer-songwriter, whose parents now live in Vernon, used to be a top athlete in the sport of field hockey before turning her full attention to music.

With her raspy, soulful voice and acoustic guitar, the leader of San Diego-based act Sister Speak is back in the North Okanagan this week. She and her band are playing a number of shows in the region, including at the Caetani Centre Sunday.

“Sports was my life for years,” said the former goaltender. “I played field hockey at KSS (Kelowna Secondary School) and we actually won provincials.”

Sherri Anne went on to join B.C.’s provincial team and ended up with a full scholarship to Northwestern University in Chicago.

“I played there for four years and that city changed my life because it’s where I truly fell in love with music,” she said.

Sherri Anne started a duo with one of her teammates, and together they performed in the Chicago area during their time at university.

“When I graduated, within three months I decided almost overnight to pursue music. Something inside me drove me to just really get out there, play original songs and start touring. That was in 2007 and I really haven’t looked back,” she said.

While she has been busy preparing for this current tour around B.C., Sherri Anne has also returned to the sport that got her into the spotlight in the first place.

“I took a few weeks off this summer and helped a good friend, Jill Dedman (former U.S. National Team goalie), coach high school field hockey goalies during her Blockstar field hockey goalie camps,” said Sherri Anne. “It’s a great balance with music.”

It’s in the Californian city of San Diego where Sherri Anne found her voice, so to speak. She connected with various musicians from around the city and eventually her recording and touring alias, Sister Speak, was born.

Sister Speak’s first album, 2014’s Rise up for Love, was actually developed from when Sherri Anne stayed with her parents while recuperating from an injury.

“(Vernon) is where I often come in between tours to regroup and write,” she said. “I was inspired by the landscape of the area and the Monashees. For instance the song, Rise Up For Love, came about watching the super moon in a field in Vernon a few years ago. It’s been my sanctuary. Pretty much every time I stay with my family for the holidays and summer in Vernon, I write a song, or life writes a song.”

Sherri Anne is looking forward to sharing some of her new songs with locals from Sister Speaks’s soon-to-be released EP.

The album came after Sister Speak opened for Air Supply on the Australian legends’ 40th anniversary tour in the fall of 2014.

Sherri Anne connected with producer Avli Avliav, who was playing keys for Air Supply, which led to the making of the folk-electronic inspired EP, recorded at Avliav’s recording studio in L.A.

The EP’s new single The Stand and a music video filmed abroad during global travels are expected for release in the fall.

In addition to sharing the stage with music legends such as Greg Douglass (Steve Miller Band), Sister Speak has grown into its sound even deeper and both the acoustic and electric side of the music have had a chance to be watered into bloom, reads Sister Speak’s website (sisterspeakmusic.com).

For this tour, Sherri Anne will be joined by San Diego bassist Jacob Miranda, who has been touring with Sister Speak for the past three years and has performed at some of California’s top music clubs; Vancouver’s Lonny Eagleton, who has recently performed alongside Shawn Hook at the Juno Awards, and Vancouver drummer Niko Friesen, who has toured the world and performed with artists such as Marcy Playground and Jane Sibery.

Sister Speak’s North Okanagan dates include the Mabel Lake Bash, east of Enderby, Thursday, Aug. 25. E-mail goodies@sisterspeakmusic.com to attend.

– The Downtown Vernon Association’s Curbside Night Market on the 2900 block of 30th Avenue, Friday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. See downtownvernon.com for more information.

– The Outboard Waterfront Pub, 7673 Okanagan Landing Rd., Saturday, Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

– Caetani Cultural Centre, 3401 Pleasant Valley Rd. Sunday, Aug. 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. Visit caetaniculturalcentre.org

 

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