Cheri Magill and I have nothing in common.
That was my first impression when I encountered the songstress mama of three with the sunniest disposition and pretty retro dresses. Sure, we’re both breeders who write our own music. But I’m the blonde bad girl in a miniskirt — not the wholesome angel-in-a-coffeehouse with a voice that takes me back to Sarah McLachlan’s “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy” days. There’s no way her new album about moms is going to relate to my me, right?
As it turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Cheri Magill’s latest record “Tour Guide” — which she wrote to fill the void of songs about moms — is insanely on point. And while I’m a work-at-home mom with just two kids in tow who doesn’t go to church, this album resonates with my mother experience in so many unexpected ways.
Literally every lyric on this album had me going “yes, yes!” My favorites included “Crazy” — I slave away to make a meal that you refuse to eat/When I put it all away you tell me you’re starving — and “Still,” which reminds me that even though I’m imperfect and say the worst things to my kids once in a while, I’m still human and my little ones love me.
Lesson learned? Don’t judge a book by its cover (or a mom of three by her headshot).
Rockmommy recently sat down to chat with Cheri about her new album, which drops May 4 — just in time for Mother’s Day.
Rockmommy: You’ve been a musician all your life and a mom for 12 years! How did this album come about?
Cheri Magill: Once I had my first baby I took him to a gig, but I didn’t feel like I could do a lot of performing and gigs when he was little, so I stopped doing music. I just pulled away for a while. It was kind of sad, and when I went to a concert it would make me a little sad that I’m not doing it anymore. But after I had my third child and she got a little older, I started having more windows of time. So when I started writing again, I wanted to write about motherhood — there are 50 billion songs about love, but there are so few songs about mothers and their kids.
Rockmommy: How old are they? Boys? Girls?
Cheri Magill: I have two boys and a girl —10, 8, and 4. The no-diaper thing is incredible.
Rockmommy: How do you find the time to make music now?
Cheri Magill: For a while I would try to squeeze things in, but really nothing was happening. So I really had to say, ‘OK I’m going to get a sitter for a couple of hours a week. This is a real thing and important to me and I’m going to do it.’
Rockmommy: But do you still play in your house?
Cheri Magill: If the sitter is at my house, I’ll go to the library or go to our church even.
Rockmommy: Can you tell me about your music time with your kids? Do you jam with them?
Cheri Magill: I’m just starting to get into that. My kids — my sons — aren’t super into music — my second kind of is. But my daughter, she loves it. She’s always like, ‘mom, can you teach me some piano?’
Rockmommy: Any plans to tour with this album?
Cheri Magill: I just did a big concert for everyone in my church and that was fun. I really love house concerts. I’d much rather play to 20 or 30 people in a home and talk more and share more personal things.
Rockmommy: What’s your favorite track on this album?
Cheri Magill: My favorite is probably ‘Tour Guide’ itself — I love the idea that I get to show my kids the world. When I get down about something, I think about how I get to show them what cookie dough tastes like, show them a place they’ve never been.
— Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the founder and editor of Rockmommy.