Mama’s Black Sheep, an Americana music group from Baltimore, will celebrate the release of their new CD, The Sheep Save Christmas, on November 15th at Baldwin’s Station in Sykesville, Maryland. Mama’s Black Sheep is the soulful collaboration of singer-songwriters Ashland Miller and Laura Cerulli. Together, this duo has created a blend of hit-worthy originals and covers with a unique spin for the holiday season. Baltimore OUTloud recently sat down with Cerulli to discuss the upcoming CD release and the tenth anniversary of the group.
Frankie Kujawa: What can your fans expect at the CD release?
Laura Cerulli: Well this new CD is pretty much a Christmas CD, as well as some new songs. For this release party performance, we’re going to do a mix of some of our favorites. A fabulous thing about Baldwin’s Station, other than being historic, is they have an amazing chef and locally-sourced menu. We really want to let people know when they are booking tickets that it’s a dinner place. The evening is all about food and music together.
Tell us some more about your new CD “The Sheep Save Christmas.”
It’s a nice mixture of original songs and covers with a unique spin. We like to put our own spin on songs that we’re covering from other artists. We have some folk songs and Christmas songs that are public domain. Some people will be very familiar with these tunes. There are also some fun arrangements and collaborations from other musicians. It’s a lot of fun for listeners!
Do you have a favorite song on the CD?
(laughing) It’s hard to pick a favorite, like picking a favorite child. The title track, “The Sheep Save Christmas,” is the title song we wrote. A local artist friend, who did the album cover, shows Santa’s sleigh being pulled by black sheep, and explains why that was. We ended up writing this story which morphed into a bit of a Dr. Seuss-like tale called the ‘The Sheep Saved Christmas,’ by pulling the sleigh. We may release that story itself as an illustrated children’s book maybe for next Christmas.
How many years have you been with the band?
As of this month, we mark our ten-year anniversary, and we’re pretty excited!
What do you credit as your inspiration as a performer?
For myself, I have a lot of influences. I always credit George Michael as teaching me how to sing. I was in middle school when his Faith album came out and it was such a big deal. I always loved his voice, and I sang it over and over when I wore the cassette out. I always credit him with my vocal stylings. But, then, George Michael would credit Aretha Franklin as his musical influence. Two of my favorite idols are gone now, vocally speaking, but I have a lot of blues and roots and soul influences in my singing.
For more info on the upcoming CD release, visit Mamasblacksheep.com.
- Since 2011, arts writer Frankie Kujawa has covered a wide scope of entertainment stories and celebrity interviews. From the late Carrie Fisher and LGBTQ icon George Takei to comedians Lily Tomlin and Kathy Griffin to performer Idina Menzel, Kujawa’s candid interview ability brings readers past the byline and into the heart of the story. His unbiased previews of Baltimore-Washington’s theatre scene have allowed readers an inside glimpse of today’s most popular local and national performances. A Baltimore-native, Kujawa is proud to call Charm City his home.
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