written by Sarah Stone
Sheila Kay Adams may very well be the youngest soul you’ll ever meet. She tells her audience that she’ll soon be 65 years old but does so while dancing to her own beat just, as it seems, as she does everything else in life. Even if you’ve never seen the mountains in North Carolina where Sheila grew up, you’ll leave her show feeling like you know the people in her stories. From the incredibly candid love songs passed down from her ancestors which often end in tragedy to the humorous and slightly unbelievable tales of her own life, Sheila makes you feel like you were there to experience it all alongside her.
Sheila tells of her family in a refreshingly honest way; of her mama’s “perfect accent from nowhere” that she adopted after being teased while away at college; the way her great grandmother carried the words of love songs and flower seeds from Ireland to America in the hem of her dress; and that despite knowing the correct word, her grandmother called the unaccompanied ballads of their family “Acapulco” rather than acapella. Through all of this, Sheila’s voice carries you straight up the mountains of her tales and into the hearts of her family.
Sprinkled throughout the stories are unexpected songs, some with the dulcet tones of her banjo and some traditionally “Acapulco” as she was taught as a child. These ballads, passed down through generations, take the listener back in time and speak of a simpler time.
Sheila told about the time her mother saw the Northern Lights appear and had to explain to the Baptist congregation in town that it was not a sign of the “rupture” (as it was told to her) and that they didn’t need to panic. She also told a story about how the name of her hometown changed from Sodom to Revere after a traveling preacher decided that Sodom invited too much sin for a Godly place. And perhaps most memorably, she told a tale which involved a zipline, chicken feathers, cigarettes and a negligee-clad angel flying over a river at 50mph.
Entertaining and endearing, moving and humorous, Sheila Kay Adams tells one hell of a tale!