Shawn Colvin, Daphne Willis
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 nearly 30 years since the release of her debut album, Colvin has won three GRAMMY Awards, released twelve 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, IL. 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 1970’s 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 where 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, produced by Leventhal, won the 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 song “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 months pregnant with her daughter Caledonia, followed. Her next studio album, Whole New You (2001) found Colvin examining new motherhood and the responsibilities of family. 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 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.