Ulrich, Shari

Shari (Sharon) Ulrich. Singer, songwriter, violinist, pianist, guitarist, broadcaster, b San Rafael, Cal, 17 Oct 1951, naturalized Canadian 1981. Shari Ulrich moved in 1971 to Gibsons, BC, and in 1972 to Vancouver. There she sang and played violin, mandolin, flute and alto saxophone 1973-6 with the Pied Pumkin String Ensemble, a whimsically eclectic folk trio completed by the singers and songwriters Rick Scott (dulcimer) and Joe Mock (guitar, piano). Ulrich appeared on its LPs The Pear of Pied Pumkin, Pied Pumkin String Ensemble and Allah Mode, all released under the group's own Squash label. The trio was revived in 1989 for a cross-country tour and issued the cassette recording The Lost Squash Tapes.

As a member 1976-9 of Valdy's Hometown Band, Shari Ulrich was heard on two LPs (Flying, A & M SP-4605 and The Hometown Band, A & M SP-4671) and on the hit song "Flying" (written by Joe Mock). The band won a 1978 Juno. Thereafter pursuing a solo career, Ulrich made the pop-rock LPs Long Nights (1980, A & M SP-9046), One Step Ahead (1981, A & M SP-9067) and Talk Around Town (1982, MCA 5379) and performed throughout Canada. She received a Juno Award in 1982 as most promising female vocalist. A fourth album, Every Road (CBS FZT-80144) followed in 1990, and the compilation Best of Shari Ulrich (Esther CD-627) in 1991.

Member of UHF

In 1989 she began performing also in the contemporary folk trio UHF with Roy Forbes and Bill Henderson (of Chilliwack); UHF appeared at folk festivals in western Canada, and made two recordings. In the early 2000s Ulrich was still active with UHF.

Second Helping of Pumkin

Pied Pumkin reunited in 1998 and undertook a western Canadian tour the following year. They released a handful of albums, including the children's album Pumkids, which won a Canadian Folk Music Award as well as a Western Canadian Music Award. The group remained active into the 2000s, appearing at folk festivals as far east as Ottawa.

Songwriting, Broadcasting, Acting

Ulrich concentrated for some years on songwriting rather than performance, living briefly in Toronto and 1985-7 in Los Angeles before returning to Vancouver. Ulrich resumed her concert career with appearances at Expo 86; her performances typically found her singing to the accompaniment of her piano, violin, guitar, and mandolin, and to that of a second keyboard player. Shari Ulrich has composed, written and hosted for television and has written scores for the National Film Board. She branched out into musical theatre, playing in productions of Tapestry (about US songwriter Carole King) in BC 1996-7, and Baby Boomer Blues (2003-4). A solo album, The View From Here, was released in 1998. She is also heard on "Live" at Cates Hill (2009).

Appointments; Successful Songs

Shari Ulrich has been caught in her career between folk and pop - between the traditional and the commercial - although her rich, country-ish voice and engaging stage personality have made her quietly dramatic (and often remarkably personal) ballads, sentimental reminiscences and hopeful social commentaries seem very much of a piece. Among her best-known songs are "Oh Daddy," "She Remembers," "Romeo," "I'm Not the One," "With or Without You," and "Every Road." Still other Ulrich titles have been recorded by Véronique Béliveau and Rita Coolidge. Ulrich was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. She taught at the University of British Columbia 2007-8 and has led Bluebird North and other songwriting workshops. She was a board member of the Songwriters Association of Canada 1998-2006 and its vice-president 2006-7, and a board member of CARAS 1993-7.