As she speaks, it is easy to detect in Sheri Hixon’s voice a sense of gratitude, something that for most would not come easily, for all that her family has endured, as her husband Al was the subject of what some might shallowly refer to as a case of mistaken identity and others might suggest was an act of racism, as he was subjected to police brutality and subsequently was awarded a significant settlement for the pain and suffering he endured. Yet, as you talk to Al Hixon and to Sheri Hixon there is no trace of bitterness and the vibe you get back is sincere gratitude.
Where does that come from Sheri? “Wow (her voice breaking, as she is overwhelmed) you touched me there Joe. Nothing is promised. Tomorrow is not promised to us. We have to make life better for ourselves and for everyone around us. If you are not being helpful, what are you doing? We have to lift up ourselves and as many people around us as possible and I just think it makes life better for so many others,” she says.
When asked what it is about Minnesota, despite the fact it is far removed from major entertainment centers, that seems to foster so much musical talent and one might add as contributed several famous actors and actresses as well, Ms. Hixon jokes at first and says, “It is so cold here Joe. (she laughs) You are locked in. I don’t know. I don’t know why I was selected. Maybe, because I had done some level of preparation and I played an instrument and I learned to read music. As a kid I felt that I was here for a reason and at this point in my life I feel that I have found my reason for being here. We all have something to contribute to the world. The genius of someone like a Prince, is hard for me to fathom. Maybe it is something in the water. Many of us are blessed with different things and if we are just lucky enough, we can merge with what we are here to do.”
Sheri Hixon has written a beautiful, yet tearful story with “” that poignantly paints the struggle of a parent to come to grips with being proud of their child for serving in the military, yet being fearful for their safety.
“That is the song that started the project. I came home from visiting my mother-in-law in the south, and all of us (including) our children were sick. I lay in bed with our youngest child and I had my husband bring me something to write on then I wrote that song, and I went to sleep. It was perhaps inspired by the fact that my father is ex-military and my husband is ex-military and a lot was going on in the news in 2005. I felt empathy for those who had loved ones who were away at war and I thought that everyone had seen it from the perspective of the solider and not necessarily from the perspective of the loved one. I wanted to highlight the love that (someone) has for their loved ones and their love for their country,” she says.
As you listen to Sheri Hixon sing “Rain,” now you recall why she sounds so familiar, like your favorite sweater. Sheri Hixon is a throwback to another era of singers, singer-songwriters from the sixties where you could just soak in the music and bathe in the luxurious vocals. As she sings, “I feel the rain upon my face / Soft and warm reaching deep down in my soul / I feel the rain, it helps me breathe / Bringing joy and luminous drops of gold,” you say thank you for the good music and the gratitude that flows through it. Listen to the music of Sheri Hixon