YOU ARE HERE: HeraldMail HomeCollectionsWva

He's letting the music out

Bob Sima to perform at First Friday Coffeehouse in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Bob Sima to perform at First Friday Coffeehouse in Martinsburg, W.Va.

January 01, 2009|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Sometimes life needs a kick-start.

For Bob Sima, it was in the form of a few simple words: "Don't die with your music still inside of you."

The words were taken from Wayne Dyer, who borrowed them from Oliver Wendell Holmes. Whoever the words originated with, they had profound meaning for Sima, a Maryland-based singer-songwriter who believed he still had music inside of him.

"It really means what you have inside of you, not necessarily music," Sima says in a telephone interview driving up Interstate 95 from Virginia to his Woodbine, Md., home.


But in Sima's case, it was, in fact, music.

Sima is making good on not keeping the music inside of him by performing Friday night at Orchard House at Trinity United Methodist Church, on W.Va. 45 between Martinsburg, W.Va., and Shepherdstown, W.Va.

When it comes to getting the music out of him, Sima describes it as "sort of that restless feeling."

"When I haven't written in awhile it's kind of like cabin fever," he says. "When I need to write a song, I get goosebumps."

After spending years as the front man for a popular Annapolis-based band, Stereopool, Sima decided to venture out on a solo career. On his first album, 2007's "Pour It On," he included a track called "Don't Die with Your Music."

That's not to say that this husband and father still doesn't have a day job. He works for a software company, which keeps him as busy as his music.

Sima filled "Pour it On" with 14 tracks about having a positive outlook on life. Still, he promises that his upbeat music isn't sugary sweet.

And, he says, he's made a point to practice what he preaches. He says he's made significant changes in his life, changing from the guy who focused on material things to really focusing more on the simpler things that life can offer.

"I tell people ... I love them more often," he says.

For his embracing of the lighter side of life, Sima has been recognized throughout 2008 at various singer-songwriter festivals. He was named a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk Festival. He won the Wildflower Festival Singer-Songwriter with "Map in My Lap."

He understands that maybe fans don't really care about the accolades, but it helps any struggling artist who's trying to get some radio play. That part, it seems has worked, Sima is finding that DJs are spinning his records at such stations as Baltimore-based WTMD and Annapolis' WRNR.

"Map in My Lap" appears on Sima's 2008 release, "Periphery." On "Periphery," Sima says he wanted the approach to be similar to "Pour it On." Because he was pleased with how "Pour it On" turned out, Sima says he "wanted it to be more of the same."

His newest song, "Cold Body and a Warm Ham," which is about death, was recorded live at Memphis House Concerts. It's not included on "Periphery," but fans can listen to the song on his MySpace page.

Although writing music makes him tingly, Sima says what he enjoys most is getting out and playing. "Playing live is therapeutic," he says.

If you go ...

WHAT: Bob Sima performs for First Friday Coffeehouse

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 2; doors open at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Orchard House, Trinity United Methodist Church, 4599 Shepherdstown Road, off of W.Va. 45 between Martinsburg and Shepherdstown, W.Va.

COST: $10 suggested donations

CONTACT: Call Steve Warner at 304-876-2915 or visit; listen to music from Bob Sima at

The Herald-Mail Articles