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Between a memoir, a new album, and a rigorous tour schedule, Shawn Colvin took time to stop by WERS this past Thursday. She grabbed a seat and immediately started feeling around on her fingerboard as we prepared for her solo acoustic session. As a singer-songwriter who has been creating albums for 23 years, Colvin seemed anxious to share her newest songs off of All Fall Down. It was a special project in which she had the chance to record with Buddy Miller inside his Nashville home. Colvin explained how grateful she was to record with Miller, a man that she has known since 1975, but never made a record with until now. All Fall Down also gives us some collaborations with Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss.
Sure enough, Colvin delicately began the title track of All Fall Down. The acoustic version of the song offered an opportunity to appreciate the emotional fragility of the chorus. Colvin stands strong next to her art and pushes her belief through her words that one can only truly understand when they hear it live. Her voice shook a little as she hid behind her bangs and breathed out, “We all fall down”. The lightly strummed guitar imitated the feeling we understood through her voice.
Colvin definitely puts herself out there with her musical endeavors, but with her newest project, “Diamond In The Rough: A Memoir”, she holds herself as open and vulnerable as it comes. She shares just about everything with her fans with her explanations of her childhood, life on the road, addiction, The Grammy Awards, meeting her musical heroes, and the process of songwriting.
“It was dared to me to try it (the memoir) and I didn’t think it was a good idea,” Colvin said with a slight smile and a laugh. “I began to realize it was a good idea. I was nervous when it was coming out. I had to figure out how to tell it all, candidly.”
We were then treated to “Change Is On The Way”, another track from the new album. The song was written with another one of WERS’ favorites, Patty Griffin. The sincere nature of the song haunted the studio. It was clear that Colvin wrote just as candidly with the new album as she did with her new album.
With a new album, Colvin also has taken on an extensive touring schedule, which spans through December. She confessed the bittersweet feelings of both sharing her music and missing her thirteen-year-old daughter along the way. It is refreshing to see such a seasoned musician still see things as a new adventure.
She then went on to engage the studio with a cover of Tom Waits’ “Hold On”. She cracked a bit of a smile and got down to business. This version was very much powered through the depth of Colvin’s voice. It was quite clear that Colvin was grateful for the chance to experience a truly intimate, stripped down session with WERS listeners. Her thankful words in the studio and in her memoir struck some excitement throughout the WERS family and we hope to be fortunate enough to share such experiences with Colvin throughout her thoughtful career.