The music that Sharon Bourbonnais (Bour-Bo-nay) creates is her own, resonating all the nuances of her world. The Dallas-born and bred, Austin Texas artist has absorbed a myriad of influences that manifest themselves as a compound of blues, country, rock and jazz. Her latest album “Party Party Dance Dance” is like a report card of trying to find her best life while enduring its ups and downs.
Sharon started playing piano at an early age. After graduating from Bryan Adams High School in Dallas, she headed down to South Padre Island. There, as she vividly described in her autobiographical tune “Bayou Love Song”, she played music, surfed, and married a guitarist/shrimper. They formed a short-lived band called “The Crustaceans. Sharon began studying music at Texas Southmost College at Brownsville while giving birth to two sons along the way. One Associate of Fine Arts from TSC (cum laude) and a divorce from her husband later, she made her way to Austin where she was accepted at the University of Texas as a composition major. She performed in bands and combos in Austin including a few performances on the Capitol steps.
Single motherhood prompted a pivot to a Music Education degree graduating in 1990. Her teaching career began at Kirby Hall school adding St Francis school the next year. While attending a music educator conference at Texas State (then SWTSU) her bubbly enthusiasm gained the interest of Eanes ISD and Round Rock ISD. She accepted a position as choral director at Grisham Middle school and two years later she joined Westwood High school as assistant choral director to Dr. Morris Stevens, where they toured England, Scotland and Wales as Ambassadors of the great state of Texas.
Fortune led her to relocate to the Hawaiian island of Oahu as a music educator where she spent a decade teaching, writing and exploring her music, which was becoming jazz-laced with a hint of Texas swing. Upon Sharon’s Austin homecoming, she formed a combo called Tres Bourbonnais and released her solo debut CD under the same name titled Rêves.
Sharon continued to teach private students, direct music at church and support Women in Music by organizing shows pairing successful women musicians with rising young stars. Tres Bourbonnais began playing venues throughout Austin, and eventually secured residencies in such legendary spots as The Driskill Hotel Bar and The Elephant Room. She rebranded to her own name Sharon Bourbonnais and toured throughout Texas, the Midwest and Europe. She followed up with her next CD called “A Girl’s Gotta Play”. That CD was soon followed by a quietly released CD called “Generations.” She also toured with Texas native Joe King Carrasco throughout France, Spain, and Texas as his keyboardist.
For her newest project, Sharon decided, as she says in one of her more popular songs, to ‘up her game’. She secured Austin music legend Chris Gage to helm her new recording “Party Party Dance Dance”. Gage lends his guitar, Hammond organ and accordion prowess and his marvelous other half, Christine Albert provides sparkling harmonies. The influences of New Orleans and the South Texas border figure prominently in Sharon’s music. The album features guest appearances by Rick Del Castillo, the Tijuana Trainwreck Horns (Mark Wilson & Tiger Daniel Anaya), Paul Klemperer, Beth Galiger, Jay Stiles and Leeann Atherton. The record is replete with bawdy, steamy and upbeat songs as well as more relatable introspective tunes. Each speaks to where her heart is and where she wishes it was. The music of Sharon’s world is now spreading to your world. Why not Party Party Dance Dance?