Shawn Colvin talks about new book, discWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Relationship drama, alcoholism, depression — Shawn Colvin has dealt with it all and survived, thanks to one friend.
“To say [music is] something I’ve turned to in times of trouble is almost an understatement; it’s just been my constant companion,” Colvin said.
“I grew up surrounded by [music], listening to it. I think a lot of people do and that doesn’t necessarily mean that they fell in love with it the way I did. I find so much solace; it was both comforting and inspiring. And then to top it all off, I could sing.”
Colvin tells her story in “Diamond in the Rough,” a memoir that shares the title of a song from her Grammy Award-winning disc, “Steady On.” Released in June, the 240-page book mirrors her music, which is honest and witty.
“I’ve had to have humor; that was necessary,” she said with a laugh during a call from her home in Austin, Texas.
She talked about being upfront about her struggles.
“Part of my salvation has been people who have been willing to be open and honest with me, people who have suffered from alcoholism and depression.
“When you hear honesty from people who have actually gone through something that you’re going through, it’s about the most helpful thing there is, I would say. So I like to give that back.
“And I’m just so used to this feeling that comes with being honest about things that people don’t necessarily still like to acknowledge or talk about it,” Colvin said.
The singer also wrote about the stories behind her songs, including “Get Out of This House,” “Fill Me Up,” “Shotgun Down the Avalanche” and “Sunny Came Home,” which won Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1998.
“All Fall Down,” Colvin’s eighth studio CD, also came out in June. Recorded in Nashville, the disc features several guests: Alison Krauss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jakob Dylan and Emmylou Harris.
“My producer, Buddy Miller, is well-loved, deeply respected, and records in his home, and there’s this kind of open-door policy,” she said of the added star power.
Colvin will play a solo show at 8 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Ark in Ann Arbor. Tickets are $42.50. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
“When I go out and sing, it’s generally by myself, and it’s just a very pure experience that I appreciate more and more as time goes on because as natural as it feels to me to go and entertain by myself, as the years go by, I’m just more and more appreciative that people still come and the fact that it’s my responsibility to take care of them for that hour and a half by myself.
“It’s almost more daunting than it used to be; in your youth, you take things for granted and you’re cockier,” she said and laughed.
“So it’s an extremely rewarding experience all around for me because that expression for me is vital, and my communication with the audience and their trust in me to move them is also invaluable to me; I need it.”