Shawn Colvin

Origin: Carbondale, Illinois

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Genres: alternative rock, Americana, Folk rock, indie rock, Singer-songwriter

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Shawn Colvin’s career as a solo recording artist covers nearly 30 years, although she is perhaps best known for her 1997 Grammy-winning song, “Sunny Came Home.”

Colvin is the second of four children. She learned to play guitar at the age of 10 and grew up listening to her father’s collection of music, which included artists such as Peter Seeger and the Kingston Trio. She grew up in Carbondale, Illinois and spent time in Ontario, Canada.

Starting in Austin, Texas, she played with the Dixie Diesels then moved further west into the folk circuit in Illinois and Berkeley, California. All this work strained her vocal cords and she needed rest at age 24.

Colvin then moved back east to New York City, joined the Buddy Miller Band in 1980 and then worked with the Fast Folk coop in Greenwich Village. After a spotlight article in Fast Folk magazine, a producer hired her to sing backup vocals on Suzanne Vega’s “Luka” in 1987.

After a tour with Vega, Colvin signed with Columbia Records and released her first album, Steady On, in 1989 which won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

Her second disc, Fat City dropped in 1992 and also received a Gammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Recording. Her song from it, I Don’t Know Why” was Grammy nominated for the Best Female Pop Vocal.

She moved back to Austin in 1994 and released the Cover Girl album. In the next year an album of live performances from 1988, titled Live 88, was released in 1995.

All was in preparation for her most successful effort in 1996, A Few Small Repairs. The single from it, “Sunny Came Home” became a huge hit, #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and winning the 1998 Grammy Awards for Song and Record of the year. Three other albums followed: a holiday record; an original titled Whole New You and a compilation of tunes, Polaroids: A Greatest Hits Collection.

Discussing “Sunny Came Home” with the Huffington Post, Colvin said, “I love a great pop song that’s joyful and even nonsensical and positive and upbeat, but I think there’s such a place for art to be a pathway for people to be put in touch with some of their suffering and to be moved to recognize it, to work through it, to grieve.”

She joined a new label, Nonesuch Records and released These Four Walls in 2008 and a live album the following year. Colvin’s eighth studio album dropped in 2012, with guests appearances from Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and Jakob Dylan. That same year she published a memoir and later recorded an album with Steve Earle in 2016. See: Colvin & Earle.

The 20th Anniversary of A Few Small Repairs album will be celebrated with a tour and reissue.

K-ZAP 93.3 FM is playing a the Shawn Colvin tune “Shut Up and Drive” from the Amazon Original album, “Open Road” available now.

Discography

Steady On (1989)
Fat City (1992)
Cover Girl (1994)
A Few Small Repairs (1996)
Holiday Songs and Lullabies (1998)
Whole New You (2001)
These Four Walls (2006)
Shawn Colvin Live (2009)
All Fall Down (2012)
Uncovered (2015)
Colvin and Earle (with Steve Earle)(2016)

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