I met Sheri Nadelman and her band soulRcoaster for the first time at Music on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch on a Friday night in 2012. They had the crowd in the palm of their hands, people dancing and singing along with the array of tunes they played. Sheri and I became fast friends and she asked me to photograph her when she was opening for the band Heart at St. Pete’s popular Ribfest in Vinoy Park. After that, I caught Sheri at several gigs from playing St. Pete Pier on the 4th of July with her buddy Kimberly Betts to supporting local charity events in the Sarasota/Manatee area. Sheri plays both solos and with her band at various local restaurants from Woody’s River Roo on the river in Palmetto to Ed’s Tavern in Lakewood Ranch. Her calendar includes some of Sarasota’s most popular events at Selby Gardens, Van Wezel’s Friday Fest & Ringling Museum’s Ca’ d’Zan.
She recently took up photography with a gift of a camera from her husband Art Nadelman. She has become a contributing writer to The Suncoast Post about her exploits photographing the local animal life and birds around the area. I am totally jealous since I have not yet gotten a shot of a Bald Eagle and she has some great photos of our National symbol! I asked her to answer a few questions about herself and her music career & photo hobby for us.
SP: Sheri, when did you start getting interested in music?
SN: I’ve always wanted to be a singer. Even as a young kid I’d Pretend to use a hairbrush as a mic in front of the mirror.
SP: When did you learn how to play the guitar?
SN: I wanted to play Piano, but we couldn’t afford one. Someone gave my dad a guitar and my neighbor showed me a few chords, I was 12.
SP: Who were your musical influences?
SN: Growing up I listened to a lot of different genres. It’s a hard question to answer really. Do we have enough time to list them all? Of course, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Motown, Stevie Wonder and The Four Seasons, to name a few. I suppose the artists who really influenced me vocally are Cher, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Elton John, Carly Simon and Sheryl Crow. I know I’m going to think about this question long after I’ve answered it!
SP: Were you in bands when you were younger?
SN: Actually, I was not. I studied with a pretty well-known vocal coach in New York and it was always my plan to be solo artist. However, I was offered a lead singer spot in a travelling show band and then a
record deal happened at the same time. Neither came to fruition.
SP: How did you meet and get together with your band soulRcoaster?
SN: I was playing solo gigs and eventually put a band together called, “Sheri and The Vision”, which was fun. When the band all went their separate ways, I thought it was time for me to take a break. I actually have Cliff Roles to thank for “orchestrating” this one. He thought I would be perfect as The Acid Queen, in the Players’ Theater production of “Tommy”. It was there that I met Tony Rizzo who was playing guitar in the show. His band was going through some changes and he invited me to sit in with them. You never know where life will take you. I’ve been with soulRcoaster for over 10 years now.
SP: Besides experiencing Covid early on, how has it affected things for you musically?
SN: Both my husband and I got the virus in early March. We were both really sick and I honestly thought I’d never be able to perform again. Little by little I began to get my strength back and I would write and eventually sing. During the initial lockdown, it was so surreal and really depressing to all of us. As an entertainer – not having that audience interaction was incredibly frustrating. I felt bad for everyone who literally couldn’t go anywhere. So, when I felt well enough, Artie set up a sound system for me and I put on a few backyard concerts in my neighborhood. Needless to say, it was so great for me to be in front of an audience and my neighbors really appreciated it. Now it has been a very slow process getting back into the swing of things so to speak. I am doing some solo shows and the band is playing. But we are definitely not playing as often.
SP: How did you get into photography?
SN: My Artie is an avid photographer and he got me into it. He handed me a camera one day and I really took to it. It has been a wonderful diversion during this unique time and another way for me to express my creativity.
SP: What musical artists do you listen to?
SN: You’d be surprised to learn what I have on my playlists. I actually listen to a little bit of everything. Right now, on my playlist, I’ve got Shirley Bassey, Billie Eilish and a lot of 80’s. I really love the 80’s. I recently discovered Vitamin String Quartet.
SP: Can we be expecting to see more articles from you for The Suncoast Post?
SN: That is an absolute YES! I’m working on a few things right now. Who knows, perhaps I may write about YOU!
Vicky Sullivan Photos