Sharon share alike

Local musicians unite for Dayton icon

By Josher Lumpkin

Photo: Dayton musicians will gather Saturday to raise money for local staple Sharon Lane; photo: Jimmy Cummings

When it comes to our local music scene, there are a few acts that are just quintessentially Dayton; musicians that can often be found performing in our bars and clubs, not doing it for money or recognition, but simply for a love of our town and of music in general.

Sharon Lane is one of those staples.

A credit to our scene, Sharon has been playing in Dayton for decades. This Saturday, April 4, some local acts will come together to return the favor, putting on a benefit show to help Lane record and release a new CD. It will be her first since 2000.

“I’ve been saying now for I don’t know how many years, ‘I’m gonna record … I’m gonna record…’ And I told my friends, ‘I’m gonna record,’’ Sharon recounts. “And of course, you know, it takes money, and it just hasn’t worked out.”

That’s when longtime friend and writer/photographer for Buckeye Music Magazine, Jimmy Cummings, stepped in.

“Jimmy started putting things together,” Lane says, “and basically just said, ‘Hey, look, you’ve got a lot of friends, and a lot of people that would love to have some music of yours… let’s just do a benefit. We do a benefit for everybody else. How many have you played?’ And I said, ‘Wow, in my life I’ve played a million benefits,’ ya know? And he said, ‘So let’s just put a night of music together, and put a donation bucket out, and let’s see what we can come up with for you.”

Once the ball started rolling, others started offering their services to the CD project.

“Jimmy was part of the All Nighter Recording Studio,” Lane says. And I was invited to the VIP opening of that place, and I loved it because it has a little Baby Grand in there that I sat and played forever. And the people who owned the Studio said that they were real willing to work with me on that, and Gary King, who has recorded me a million times, said that he’d be happy to come up and give some time on that. So, people have been real generous.”

The evening’s entertainment will include performances by fellow Dayton darlings Shrug, Paige and the Belairs, The Repeating Arms and High 5 Riot.

“It’s just gonna be a real fun night,” Sharon says, “and I think I’m gonna go up and play a few tunes somewhere in there, and I’m really excited about it. I’ll be honest with you, I’m humbled. I’m very humbled by the thought that people would be so kind to me.”

Sharon has also put some thought into the CD she would like to make with the proceeds from the benefit show.

“When I was young, I was so busy being the singer/songwriter, that I wanted to play my own stuff,” she remembers. “I’ve always done other people’s work, but I got to a point where I didn’t do other people’s songs very often at all. I wanted to make sure I got my stuff out there. And now as I’ve gotten older and I’ve listened to all this music, and I say, ‘Oh man, I should’ve recorded that!’ [Laughs] So there’s a lot of songs that I want to record because it’s just good music. They’re failsafe.

“Then, I want to do some new stuff that I’ve written. I want that. And then, probably one of the biggest things that I want to do is that there are some great musicians out there, and I want to play with them. So, there’s some people that I would like to invite in on some of this music, and see what they can do with it.”

Lane adds, “My aim is just to go in and record and have a good time, and however much I get done, I get done. Just have a good time and play with some people I want to play with, and enjoy them. Because people have been real good to me.”

But what is it about our music community that makes musicians want to go out and help one another?

“Some of the best musicians I’ve ever known come from Dayton, Ohio,” Lane says. “This is a talented city. And when you have talented people, you have kind hearts, on the whole. I think artists are very tender-hearted and kind people, very generous in spirit and thought.”

Touched that her friends are coming together to help her out, Sharon concludes, “All I know is we’re gonna have a lot of fun, and we’re gonna listen to a lot of good music, and I’m gonna just hug up on everybody I see. At this age, you always hug everybody. I’m just very thankful that people think so kindly of me that they would even think about doing something as wonderful as this, so I’m just gonna sit back and have a good time and laugh and enjoy people and be thankful that I have all these wonderful people in my life.”

The Sharon Lane Album Project Fundraiser will take place on Saturday, April 4 at Gilly’s, 132 S. Jefferson St. Admission is $5. Doors at 8 p.m. For more information, please visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Josher Lumpkin at

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Josher Lumpkin is a nursing student and aspiring historian who enjoys writing about music and geekdom of all kinds. He is especially fond of punk rock, tabletop gaming, sci-fi/fantasy and camping with his wife, Jenner, and their dogs, Katie and Sophie. Reach him at

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