A Siren’s Song

Sometimes I just get blue. I used to always pick it apart — that blue funk. But analyzing it, nailing it down can be wearying, and sometimes it’s just that I’m a displaced Texan living in the Rockies. Texas can be a terrible and wonderful land, but mostly it’s a big heart with a cutting edge spirit that often thumbs its nose at convention while often appearing tacky with its own. Don’t be fooled by the seeming yahoo. Underneath is a class leveler, and I miss the plain talk and the willingness to be a stereotype in its pursuit. A place where words like ‘shit’ reverberate with meaning way beyond the obvious.

The mentality is best represented in an old joke:

A Texan went to Harvard, and on his first day there he was walking across campus and trying to find a particular building. He saw a group of preppy looking guys and stopped to ask them about it, “‘Scuse me, but can you tell me where the libary’s at?” The obvious leader of this group returned with a sneer, “For your information, it’s ‘library’ and no self-respecting Harvard man would end a sentence in a preposition. Would you care to rephrase that question?” The Texan grinned and replied, “Sure. Can you tell me where the libary’s at, asshole?”

I’m not going to wax on further about my love for Texas. I’ll inflict that on you another day. Feel free to bring the Chainsaw Massacre jokes. I’m ready. :D

Oddly enough, all of this is actually leading to some musicilove.

Shawn Colvin has become the epitome of someone who does her own thing despite her difficulties and is not out to impress anyone unless she wants a boyfriend. ;-). She’s become part of the charm of Austin, Texas along with a cadre of world class artists who make Austin a cultural destination. I’ll talk more about that later if I get inspired. For now I want to focus on Shawn who grew up in London, Ontario and Illinois but eventually settled in Texas. It fit her nature of being tender but hardscrabble when necessary and always startlingly honest.

In her performances she always seems to be trying to get at the truth. She focuses on almost anything but the external, intent on something inside herself, and the timid but wry twist of her mouth reluctantly given makes it devastating. But it’s her voice purring and her guitar along with it that puts a stroke between bone and muscle.

Some of you have heard her pieces. One of her most well known from “A Few Small Repairs” CD:

From the “Serendipity” soundtrack CD:

Other goodies.

From “Steady On” CD:

From “Fat City” CD:

From “A Few Small Repairs” CD:

The title track from “All Fall Down” CD, her latest:

I like that video, but I think I prefer Shawn alone with her guitar:

And I may be wrong about Shawn Colvin’s honesty, but I don’t think so. Just started her memoir. Wow.

And she might wonder, “Who the Hell is Richard Armitage?” I have an answer. :D

Off to listen to the rest of her new CD. She’s also touring in January and Mary Chapin Carpenter will join her in February. I haven’t seen her perform live for years. May have to make a run over to Aspen in February.

edit: I did not realize today is Shawn Colvin’s birthday! Talk about serendipity. :D

4 Comments

  1. I’ve loved her too, since like … 1993? Heard Shotgun down the Avalanche and it sold me forever.

  2. I am happy to say I am a lifelong Texan and a long time fan of Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Sadly, none of their tour dates are within my reach.

  3. Shawn got me through some miserable times in my first job–love her and happy that she is still out there strummin’. And looks fab while she’s at it.

  4. Servetus, She’s definitely a keeper! I’m pretty sure ‘I Don’t Know Why’ was the first song of hers to get my attention. Not sure when that was released, but I know it was before I moved to Colorado 15 years ago.

    Patricia, Bummer about the tour dates but good to talk to a fellow Texan. :D

    Northern Gal, Music is such a balm! And she does look good for the high side of 50!


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