Shawn Colvin is proud of her award-winning career
Songwriter comes to the Egyptian Theatre
Singer and songwriter Shawn Colvin is looking forward to her trip to chilly Park City this week from her balmy hometown of Austin, Texas.
The award-winner, who will perform four nights at the Egyptian Theatre starting Thursday, Feb. 2, said she’s used to cold climates and will take precautions.
“I’ll bundle up,” Colvin told The Park Record. “I love it in Park City and look forward to playing.”
Last summer, Colvin released an album with fellow singer-songwriter Steve Earle called “Colvin and Earle.”
While most of the songs on that disc work well as duets, she may pull a couple out for the Egyptian Theatre shows.
“There is one song in particular that I think works OK,” she said.
The genesis for the two to make an album came from Earle.
“I had known Steve and had done some gigs with him and he had the idea of making a
record together,” Colvin said. “I was kind of dubious about that because it’s hard to get two solo artists’ schedules lined up. But we did it.”
The two got together for three writing sessions and did some back and forth over emails and voice memos.
“We wrote six songs and chose four covers,” Colvin said. “We both brought in three covers each. We each had a vision of what we wanted to sing together and whittled them down and were both on board with each others’ picks.”
Colvin enjoyed working with Earle, even though there was no guarantee it would’ve worked out.
“I think there is something to be said for being malleable in your style,” she said. “Steve certainly brought out a rougher side of me, which didn’t surprise me because I’m more of a melancholic singer and songwriter. But Steve also has a melancholy and softer side to him as well. I think we’re both adept enough to make that leap into each other’s realm.”
Colvin said working with other songwriters is one secret to keep the creative juices flowing after 30 years in the business.
“Collaborative efforts are definitely inspiring because you have somebody else’s input,” she said. “Right now, I’m working on a new project with John Leventhal, whom I co-write with quite a bit. And that’s always been a good partnership. We tend to spark one another creatively.”
The dynamic about her songwriting partnership with Leventhal is two different approaches they bring to the craft.
“We have a nice combination with me trying to stay stupid about it and him trying to think more about it,” Colvin said with a laugh. “That’s good because he wants to push out our comfort zone, and I’m fine staying comfortable.
“John is always trying to shake things up,” she said. “Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but I always go along with him because I trust him.”
Colvin also tries to open herself to other inspirations.
“It’s just keeping my eyes and ears open to music, conversations that I hear and keeping notes in a notebook,” she said. “Those are all things that can lead to an idea. You kind of just have to show up to meet the muse halfway. You can’t expect it to drop on you and deliver.”
The songwriter also keeps an open mind when selecting songs for her live shows.
“The older songs are like old friends,” she said. “There are some I do more than others, and there are some I don’t do.
“It’s not because I don’t like them, but they’ve kind of fallen away after 30 years,” Colvin said. “I think what happens is that I get a little more improvisational with them, and sometimes the meanings can change depending on where I am in my life.”
After a quiet moment, Colvin said she might have to revisit the songs she doesn’t play as much.
“I don’t make a record until I’m really proud of the songs I have written, and I don’t play anything that I’m not proud of,” she said. “I do enjoy playing the old songs. I was proud of them when they came out and I’m proud of them now.”
That’s why Colvin enjoys her career that has seen multiple Grammy Awards and nominations, and most recently receiving the Americana Honors Lifetime Achievement Trailblazer Award.
“The biggest reward, I think, is as simple as being able to write another song, which is not meant to diminish the thrill of winning an award,” she said. “It’s always a huge honor to win something, but in the end, what I do is sing, play and write songs. That’s the artistry. You want to keep growing and creating. So, the biggest reward is to finish something I’m proud of.”
Grammy Award-winnning singer and songwriter Shawn Colvin will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 2-4, at the Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St. Thursday tickets range from $39 to $65. Friday and Saturday tickets range from $43 to $70. They can be purchased by visiting http://www.parkcityshows.com.
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