Shawn Colvin

Three-time GRAMMY winner Shawn Colvin stopped the industry in its tracks with her arresting 1989 debut, Steady On, a stunning introduction to an artist who quickly established herself as a mainstay in the singer-songwriter genre. The album was lauded for its confessional songwriting and well-crafted melodies, and for Colvin’s delicate and provocative vocals. Colvin received the ultimate acknowledgement for Steady On when she was awarded the GRAMMY award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. She swiftly amassed a dedicated and passionate fanbase, to whom this album remains very special.

As the record’s 30th anniversary looms, the trailblazing singer and songwriter has recorded a truly mesmerizing acoustic reinvention of her landmark album, lacing up each track with fresh layers of warmth, charm, and wisdom. Colvin brings a 30-year lens to her treasured songs, casting new light on the stories she first told as a young artist. Colvin has always been hailed as an exemplary solo acoustic performer and these new recordings are a brilliant showcase for her enduring artistry.

“I was 32 years old, and the dream of my life had been fulfilled,” Colvin says, “not only because I made an album but mostly because I had written or co-written every song, an accomplishment that was hard won. I was so proud. My feeling was then — and still is — that if I never made another album, Steady On would have been enough.”

The newly-recorded version of Steady On strips each song to the core, placing Colvin’s songwriting masterclass on full display. “I’ve played these songs countless times, primarily as a solo acoustic artist,” she says. “All in all, this is the incarnation that feels most genuine. And so, to commemorate this milestone I decided to celebrate Steady On by recording it again, this time using only my voice and my guitar. This represents who I am as an artist and all I ever wanted to be, and I believe it does its predecessor proud.”

Over the course of three decades, Colvin has established herself as a legacy artist by creating a remarkable canon of work, touring relentlessly both nationally and internationally, and having her songs featured in television and film. She is a revered storyteller deserving of the special recognition of both her peers and those who have been inspired by her songs. The reworking of her iconic debut feels not only timely but essential, further underscoring that Colvin remains a vital voice for women in music and reaffirming her status as an Americana game-changer.

Shawn Colvin will perform Steady On Acoustic in its entirety in what promises to be a very special evening for her longtime fans.

Shannon McNally

Recorded with an all-star band and featuring special guests like Jessi Colter, Buddy Miller, Rodney Crowell, and Lukas Nelson, Shannon McNally’s extraordinary new collection, ‘The Waylon Sessions,’ isn’t so much a tribute to Waylon Jennings as it is a recontextualization, a nuanced, feminine rendering of a catalog long considered a bastion of hetero-masculinity. That’s not to say McNally has a softer, gentler take on the songs of Jennings and his outlaw compatriots here; in fact, just the opposite. Over and over again, she manages to locate a smoldering intensity, a searing hurt buried deep within the music’s deceptively simple poetry, and she hones in on it with a surgical precision. McNally doesn’t swap pronouns or couch her delivery with a wink; she simply plays it straight, singing her truth as a divorced single mother in her 40’s in all its beauty, pain, and power. The result is that rare covers record that furthers our understanding of the originals, an album of classics that challenges our perceptions and assumptions about just what made them classics in the first place.

“When I listen to Waylon, I hear an adult,” says McNally. “He sounds like a grownup, and for a long time, I think being a grownup has been confused with being a man. There’s a feminine perspective hidden somewhere inside each of these songs, though. My job was to find a way to tap into that and draw it out.”

As daunting an undertaking as that sounds, it was really nothing new for McNally, who’s been mining the rich veins of American roots music for more than two decades now. Born and raised on Long Island, McNally has, at various points, called New Orleans, Nashville, and Holly Springs, Mississippi, home, but it was in Los Angeles that she first came to national attention in the early 2000’s with her Capitol Records debut, ‘Jukebox Sparrows.’ Recorded with a Murderer’s Row of studio legends including Greg Leisz, Benmont Tench, and Jim Keltner, the collection garnered high profile spotlights everywhere from NPR to Rolling Stone, earned McNally slots on Letterman, Leno, and Conan, and led to dates with Stevie Nicks, Robert Randolph, and John Mellencamp among others. She followed it up in 2005 with ‘Geronimo,’ a critically acclaimed sophomore effort that prompted the New York Times to call her “irresistible” and the Washington Post to hail her as “a fine lyricist who often calls to mind Lucinda Williams.” A restless creative spirit with a magnetic personality, McNally would go on to release a wide range of similarly lauded albums, EPs, and collaborations over the next 15 years, performing onstage and in the studio with the likes of Willie Nelson, Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Charlie Sexton, Derek Trucks, Terry Allen, and many more along the way.

Three-time GRAMMY winner Shawn Colvin’s debut album, Steady On, was released in October 1989, a stunning introduction to an artist who quickly established herself as a mainstay in the singer-songwriter genre. The album was lauded for its confessional songwriting and well-crafted melodies, and for Colvin’s tender and provocative vocals. Colvin received the ultimate acknowledgement for Steady On when she was awarded the GRAMMY award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. She swiftly amassed a dedicated and passionate fanbase.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of this landmark album, Colvin has released a newly-recorded solo-acoustic version. Colvin brings a 30-year lens to her treasured songs, casting new light on the stories she first told as a young artist. Colvin has long been hailed as an exemplary solo acoustic performer and these new recordings are a brilliant showcase for her enduring artistry.

“I was 32 years old, and the dream of my life had been fulfilled,” Colvin says, “not only because I made an album but mostly because I had written or co-written every song, an accomplishment that was hard won. I was so proud. My feeling was then—and still is—that if I never made another album, Steady On would have been enough.”

Steady On Acoustic strips each song to the core, placing Colvin’s songwriting masterclass on full display. “I’ve played these songs countless times, primarily as a solo acoustic artist,” she says. “All in all, this is the incarnation that feels most genuine. And so, to commemorate this milestone I decided to celebrate Steady On by recording it again, this time using only my voice and my guitar. This represents who I am as an artist and all I ever wanted to be, and I believe it does its predecessor proud.”

Over the course of three decades, Colvin has established herself as a legacy artist by creating a remarkable canon of work, touring relentlessly both nationally and internationally, and having her songs featured in television and film. She is a revered storyteller deserving of the special recognition of both her peers and those who have been inspired by her songs. The reworking of her iconic debut feels not only timely but essential, further underscoring that Colvin remains a vital voice for women in music and reaffirming her status as an Americana gamechanger.

Shawn Colvin will perform Steady On Acoustic in its entirety in what promises to be a very special evening for her longtime fans.

 

 

In an era when female singer-songwriters are ever more ubiquitous, Shawn Colvin stands out as a singular and enduring talent. Her songs are slow-release works of craft and catharsis that become treasured, lifetime companions for their listeners. As a storyteller, Colvin is both keen and warm-hearted, leavening even the toughest tales with tenderness, empathy, and a searing sense of humor. In the 27 years since the release of her debut album, Colvin has won three Grammy Awards, released eleven albums, written a critically acclaimed memoir, maintained a non-stop national and international touring schedule, appeared on countless television and radio programs, had her songs featured in major motion pictures, and created a remarkable canon of work.

 

Colvin was born in Vermillion, South Dakota, where she lived until she was eight. A small-town childhood in the university town of Carbondale, Illinois, drew her to the guitar by the age of 10. She made her first public appearance on campus at the University of Illinois at age 15. By the late 1970s Colvin was singing in a Western Swing band in Austin, Texas—the city she now calls home. Moving to New York at the decade’s end she remained in the country music field as a member of the Buddy Miller Band until she met producer, guitarist, and co-writer John Leventhal. Leventhal inspired Colvin to find her own voice as a songwriter. She began honing her skill, and was soon signed to Columbia records. Her first album, Steady On won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Recording.

 

Colvin continued to win fans and critics with her subsequent releases, Fat City (1992) and Cover Girl (1994). In 1996, she released A Few Small Repairs (1996), which would prove to be her breakthrough. The murder-ballad “Sunny Came Home” gave Colvin a Top 10 hit, a platinum-selling album and two of Grammy’s biggest honors: Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

 

Holiday Songs And Lullabies (1998), recorded while Colvin was eight and a half months pregnant with her daughter Caledonia, followed. Her next studio album, Whole New You (2001) found Colvin examining her new motherhood and the responsibilities of family. Polaroids (2004) is a showcase for the first half of her recording career. Her Nonesuch debut These Four Walls (2006) was lauded by People Magazine as “the most self-assured album of her career” and “one for the ages” by the Washington Post. The Austin-American Statesman called it “an exquisite portrait of strength and vulnerability.”

 

Shawn Colvin Live (2009), was recorded during a special three-night solo engagement at San Francisco’s famous jazz club, Yoshi’s. Live captures the beauty and intimacy of Colvin’s performances, showcasing her inimitable voice and matchless guitar stylings. Praised by both critics and fans, the album was honored with a Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Recording.

All Fall Down (2012), Colvin’s eighth studio album, was the first to be produced by her longtime friend and cohort Buddy Miller (Patty Griffin, Robert Plant, Lucinda Williams). Recorded in Nashville with a group of stellar musicians, the album features performances by Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Jakob Dylan, Bill Frisell, Viktor Krauss, Brian Blade, Stuart Duncan, and Julie Miller.

 

The release of All Fall Down was simultaneous with that of her William Morrow/HarperCollins–published memoir, Diamond In The Rough. With the wit, lyricism, and empathy that have characterized Shawn’s performances and inspired audiences worldwide, Diamond in the Rough looks back over a rich lifetime of highs and lows with stunning insight and candor. Through its pages, we witness the inspiring story of a woman honing her artistry, finding her voice, and making herself whole.

Colvin’s most recent solo endeavor, Uncovered (Fantasy Records, 2015), is the long-awaited follow up to fan-favorite Cover Girl. Uncovered‘s twelve tunes include masterful interpretations of songs by Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder, Robbie Robertson and Graham Nash to name a few, but in their selection and delivery they are pure Shawn Colvin.

In June 2016, Shawn Colvin and longtime friend Steve Earle united to release, Colvin & Earle, their acclaimed self-titled duo album. Produced by Buddy Miller, Colvin & Earle beautifully captures the pair’s extraordinary chemistry and is a true standout in careers already filled with pinnacles and masterpieces. The album received high praise from critics – NPR asserted that the duo “Elevated their collaboration to the level of top-flight album-making, bringing seemingly opposing impulses to the process.”

Colvin was recently recognized for her career accomplishments when she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Trailblazer Award at the 2016 Americana Honors & Awards Show. Presenting Colvin with this prestigious award was Bonnie Raitt.  Of Shawn, Raitt said “She’s simply one of the best singers I’ve ever heard— and a truly gifted and deep songwriter and guitarist… She was groundbreaking when she emerged and continues to inspire me and the legions of fans and other singer/songwriters coming up in her wake”

Shawn Colvin’s latest release is The Starlighter, a new album of songs adapted from the children’s music book “Lullabies and Night Songs.” The Starlighters’s 14 songs are a mix of traditional numbers and children’s standards, an elegant and graceful musical offering that resonates with the warmth and tenderness of poignant familial experience and remembrance. The result is an album that captures the magic and mystery of children’s lullabies in a moving and timeless musical offering.