Singer-songwriter Meredith Shaw is proof that there’s no set path one must follow to become a musician. She grew up on a farm in a small town in northeast Missouri where she was involved in musical theater, and she recalls strumming original songs on her guitar on the porch of her sorority house when the University of Missouri brought her to Columbia for college. But after that, she had children, got a job, and put her guitar away for twenty years. She kept music close by working for a radio station, but it wasn’t until a friend encouraged her to take advantage of an open mic at Cooper’s Landing in 2018 that she got her guitar back out and rediscovered her passion. The crowd was very welcoming and the experience gave her the kickstart she needed to start penning songs again.
Of her style, she said, “It’s kind of a throwback to classic country, but trying to put some modern spins on it a little bit, at least on the production side. When I play live, it sounds a lot more just plain classic country. But yeah, that classic country meets 2022. Still singing about all the same things—living, loving, leaving.”
More often than not, Shaw takes the stage with only herself and her guitar, offering an intimate, heartfelt performance. However, she cited connecting with other musicians in town as one of the first things that sparked her drive to pursue music and sometimes brings guests from the local music scene to accompany her at her shows. She stressed that the tight-knit music community in Columbia has also helped her in numerous other ways, from regularly cheering her on to getting her her biggest gig yet, an opening slot for an Eagles cover band that drew a crowd of five hundred people.
“I went from doing an open mic at Cooper’s to—almost three years to the day—having a solo show at Cooper’s and a lot of that is because of how wonderful and supportive the music community is in mid-Missouri.”
You can stream Shaw’s new single, “The Other Other Woman,” as well as earlier releases, on all streaming platforms. And if you’re a mid-MO local, come see her play on one (or all!) of the following dates:
- February 11th — Cafe Berlin (Opening for Flyover Country)
- February 19th — Columbia Farmer’s Market (9am-12pm)
- March 6th — Unity Church