Oooh. I wish you could hear this CD I'm listening to right now.

Sheila Nicholls' "Brief Stop."She's not local . . . at all. Far from it. She's from Essex. England. The country that could be considered our sophisticated parent from whom we ran away to become the conservative-ragamuffin-outlaw-cowboys that we are today.

Sheila was actually born and raised in the motherland. Most of her childhood she blocked out of her memory. At 24 she found herself in New York working as a nanny. (Hmmm. New York. Nanny. A tie to Utah if there ever was one.)

That was when she realized she was becoming permanently sidetracked. You all know that sensation . . . "I'm not doing what I wanted to when I was little, and now I've forgotten what that was, but I know it's not this."

Most everyone has that feeling, then ignores it out of convenience, or necessity, and then they become accountants.

Of course, it could be your deepest dream to be an accountant. My older sister is an accountant, and she's a delightful person.

When she was little all she wanted to do was have nice clothes, carry a cool briefcase, go to her corner office with a view and do lunch.

Does that scream accountant? Possibly.

Either that, or people go to law school.

My older sister's husband is a lawyer.

He's quite lovely, too.

But Sheila wasn't ever meant to travel down that road. She was destined to be a great songwriter -- one who has her own label and who doesn't kowtow to major record names who want to turn her into an artist like, say, um, Jewel.

Sheila, in the immortal words of Frank Sinatra, does it her way, and she is going to really impress all those people who are yearning for more artists like Ani Di Franco and Joni Mitchell, who are unafraid to write honest lyrics that are artistic; not top-40, not poppish and which are extremely powerful, insightful and not industry-produced.

I would say that Sheila will appeal to those who are devoted Amos and Di Franco listeners.

Her lyrics are train-of-thought and off-meter. You know, she doesn't believe in periods, comas, semicolons or anything that would allow a reader to take a breath. She has no rhyme scheme.

Sheila uses the piano as her main instrument and doesn't really reinvent it or move piano playing to a new level, but she fills it. Come again? She fills her chords with her words, and the result is very moving and very good.

I can't describe her voice because it is her own and I have no comparisons.

What I can say is that she is always on key, and there's nothing annoying or grating about her tonality.

If her voice was a color it would be brown. Like coffee. Or British Breakfast Tea.

Of course, if you think those choices are bad, caffeinated Satan choices, then you could say her voice is like Postum.

Take what you will from that description and run with it, possums.

Another plus about Sheila is that she'll be here. Live. In person. Performing. This weekend.

Tonight, you can see her in the Alta High School auditorium. I'm guessing the show will start at 7:30 p.m. As most shows do.

On the 20th, she'll be at the Dragonfly Cafe (the coolest coffee house in town) at 5:30 p.m. and at Cup of Joe, downtown at 8 p.m.

I don't think you should miss these shows. I really think you should go. It would be a very good idea.

Besides, how else are you going to get her CD?

Sheila does have a Web site if you're at all interested.

It's (www.essexgirl.com).

Unfortunately, it's under construction.

Isn't that just the way the cookie crumbles?