Possessing a gently rolling voice, Shawn Colvin finger-picked her guitar in front of the sold-out crowd at The Egg’s intimate Swyer Theater on Saturday night. She was clearly among friends and fans, many of which have followed her career from the beginning.
Her independently produced live album “Live ’88” brought Colvin to the attention of both the public and the recording industry, and she quickly became a leading voice in the contemporary folk pantheon. Joining Tracy Chapman and Suzanne Vega with a major-label contract, Colvin became the darling of the singer-songwriter scene, winning a Grammy for “Steady On” in 1989.
That was over 20 years ago. Today, Colvin’s exemplary, poetic writing, crystal-clear vocals and impressive guitar skills are still very much intact, and even if her public profile has dwindled a bit, her fans have remained loyal.
And Colvin still has something musically to say beyond such old hits as “I Don’t Know Why” and “Sunny Came Home,” which garnered her more Grammys in 1997. The audience at The Egg heard a musical cross-section of Colvin’s career, including several tunes from her latest studio album, “These Four Walls.”
Opener Garrison Starr’s tough-girl attitude was in direct contrast to the headliner’s gentle, waif-like singing. Starr’s commanding presence shouted for attention, and she even had the audience snapping their fingers to create a popping rhythm track for her vocals and chord-driven guitar to bounce around on.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Read Michael Eck’s review in The Times Union.
An excerpt from Brian McElhiney’s review in The Daily Gazette: “For nearly an hour and a half, Shawn Colvin held a nearly-packed crowd at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre in rapturous attention. The South Dakota songwriter’s intricate guitar playing and ethereal voice could be nearly hypnotic at times. Song after song was filled with rich yet delicate strumming and finger picking, creating a wash of sounds that at times sounded like Colvin was hiding another player or two somewhere backstage.”