BALANCING ACT

Sherrié Austin makes time for a new video - and a whole lot

Sherrié Austin's new video, "In The Meantime," is about how the pull of everyday life can come between people and their goals.

"Like John Lennon once sang, Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans," she says. "It's that kind of song. It's about how while you're waiting for your dreams to come true, you've still got to get up every day and make the coffee and read the paper and all that stuff. Life gets in the way of where you're trying to go."

To bring that idea to life, the video features the goings-on of a busy household - shot inside a house in East Nashville - as narrated by Sherrié herself. "There's this family wreaking havoc through the house," she explains, "and I'm telling the story amidst all the fabulous chaos."

The video was filmed over the course of one very long day - it's a routine Sherrié has gotten used to since making her first video in 1997. "I start out with a lot of energy at the beginning of the day," she says, "and I have fun, but by the end of the night I'm dying. By then, I have laryngitis from singing the song a hundred times, my makeup is just screaming to be taken off, and my hair has usually grown to twice its size because of the hairspray!"

"In The Meantime" is the second video from Sherrié's latest album, Followin' A Feelin'. "This record is both more diverse and more traditional than anything I've ever done," she says. "What I really loved about making Followin' A Feelin' was being able to explore my country roots a little more. I never really had an opportunity to do that before."

Sherrié was pleased to learn recently that the CD will finally be released in her home country of Australia. This month, she's making her first trip Down Under in quite a while. "I've lived in America half my life now, so this is my home as much as Australia," she says. "And it's so bloody far away, and so expensive to travel there! But it's fun to go back."

Putting together international record deals is right up Sherrié's alley these days - rather than release Followin' A Feelin' on an established record label, she and some business partners formed their own company. Being a music-biz mogul "has its moments," she chuckles. "It's challenging, but I get up every day and get to be involved in something that's very personal to me. I enjoy knowing what's going on, and being a part of the decisions."

Between business meetings, Sherrié is already putting together songs for her next album. "I just record as I go along," she says. "That's how Followin' A Feelin' happened, too - we didn't really start recording at a specific time, it just kind of came together over a year."

She's also hoping to see more of her songs recorded by other performers. Sherrié's tunes already appear on recent albums by stars like Ronnie Milsap and Tammy Cochran - in fact, Tim Rushlow's debut album features his version of "In The Meantime."

"I get more of a kick out of hearing somebody else do my songs than from hearing me do 'em!" she says. "It's a validation - the writer always thinks the song is great, but when somebody else cuts it, you think, 'Well, maybe it really was good.' "

Although she's a very busy young woman these days, Sherrié somehow manages to juggle all her duties - and her relationship with longtime boyfriend and collaborator Will Rambeaux.

"I just get up every day and I work," she says. "I come into the office and try to be a songwriter and label executive - and a normal, everyday girl on top of all that."

- Chris Neal

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