“Every Day A New Star Aligns” is a line from the title track of Sheena Brook’s new 4-song EP, “The First Time.” While a well-known Southwest Florida musician for the past few years, the Fort Myers Beach performer used her recent appearance on the NBC hit television show, “The Voice,” to catapult her into the “new star” constellation! Sheena presented “The First Time” EP at a debut celebration and concert at “The House of The Rising Sun Art Bar” on Saturday, May 27th.
In discussing the genesis of the evening, Sheena says that she and her wife, Summer Stockton, “wanted to do a debut party, as we worked really hard on the EP and are so proud of it. When we recorded it in Nashville, I selected these four songs because I really believe in them. One day I was driving down San Carlos Boulevard and saw ‘The House of The Rising Sun Art Bar’ and is just looked so cool. I met the owner, Chelsey Cook, and she agreed to host the event, but the best part of that story is when she said ‘yes,’ she had no idea who I was and had never heard of ‘The Voice.’ Once word got out and she clued in to what was going on, she was really happy!”
Sheena said that this party had to be near Fort Myers Beach: “We are doing what we want to do, and that is to celebrate in the community where we live and that we love. It is overwhelming how many people turned out tonight, and that is what makes this special; I am so surprised and thankful! The beach people are the most amazing people; so many believe in me, and that is the most exciting and amazing thing to me.”
With everything seemingly going in her favor, Sheena contemplated if there has been any downside to her recent life in the fast lane: “So far I don’t have any regrets, but I was away from Summer for quite some time, so that is the one thing I would change. Everything else is just great and rolling!”
Of course, if you want to know if a Fort Myers Beach performer has true musical chops, you consult our own talented living legend, the incomparable Jo List! “It is so exciting to me that Sheena knows how to entertain the bejesus out of an audience,” gushed Jo. “I love that girl and I love her voice. I didn’t expect to love Sheena so much, as I have such high expectations, but the first time I heard her, I was God-smacked! I thought, ‘Oh my God, she’s really great!’ She has a writer’s soul and her music is dynamic. Her voice is just lovely; and she really knows how to tell a compelling story.”
“Tonight’s turnout tells you everything you need to know,” Jo said. “There are some who feel maybe Sheena hasn’t yet paid enough dues, because it seems like she is now an overnight success due to ‘The Voice,’ but that is not true. People heard her on TV, then millions more on line, and that is the way that it is done now, and people spread the word. Music is hard, hard work that requires a lot of focus and energy, and Sheena is very focused and she is married to another very focused woman in Summer, and between them they will do what it takes to ensure Sheena’s success.”
Opening for Sheena was her fellow contestant on “The Voice,” Sammie Zonona, with other cast members joining in on the fun. “Jessie, my roommate for a month, came down,” Sheena said. “She is so talented, hosts a national podcast, and is just the best!”
The overflow crowd was in the hundreds, with parking extending at least four cooperative business lots down from the venue, and it was an ideal way to kick off the island’s Memorial Day Weekend activities. The concert was in the back open deck area of “The House of The Rising Sun.” The late afternoon and early evening were cloudless and gorgeous, and even though the temperature was in the low 90s and the audience shoulder-to-shoulder, the delightful sea breeze made it seem cool and comfortable. Though much of the crowd was in a shaded area, Island Hopper hand fans were a popular accessory!
The EP celebration was a very Fort Myers Beach-type party, with millennials through baby boomers, families and kids, with food, drink, arts, music and dancing all around by hundreds of Sheena’s best friends and new friends. For more information visit her website sheenabrook.com or her Facebook or Twitter.