This week's Musician’s Spotlight features two Austin, TX, Grammy-winning singer-songwriters who choose not to stay at arena's length from their fans: from 2016, Patty Griffin, and from 2013, Shawn Colvin.
A New York Times reviewer wrote that Patty Griffin's stripped-down lyrics form " ... cameo-carved songs that create complete emotional portraits of specific people … (her) songs have independent lives that continue in your head when the music ends.” A crowd of high-profile recording artists agrees: Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Solomon Burke, The Dixie Chicks, Kelly Clarkson & Jeff Beck, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, Melissa Etheridge and Susan Boyle have all recorded her songs - not to mention Griffin herself, on nine studio and two live albums.
Shawn Colvin was singing country songs with Buddy Miller and her own songs for Fast Folk Magazine when she met producer John Leventhal and proceeded to release Steady On, the breakthrough 1989 solo recording that won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Colvin has been collaborating, writing, performing and recording ever since. Bonnie Raitt says: “She’s simply one of the best singers I’ve ever heard — and a truly gifted and deep songwriter and guitarist… She was groundbreaking when she emerged and continues to inspire me and the legions of fans and other singer/songwriters coming up in her wake.”