Music News & Reviews

Shawn Colvin comes to Harris Center with ‘Uncovered’

Shawn Colvin said of “Uncovered,” her latest: “As it stands, the album came together in only three months.”
Shawn Colvin said of “Uncovered,” her latest: “As it stands, the album came together in only three months.”

Shawn Colvin may have cut her teeth at an early age trying to sing rock songs, but she hit her stride in contemporary folk.

With moving pieces such as “Sunny Came Home,” the singer-songwriter established a solid fan base and built on collaborations with artists from Suzanne Vega to James Taylor to Sting. Her most fortuitous pairing might have been with John Leventhal, who became her producer after they met while she searched for a lead guitarist in the 1980s.

Now Colvin is touring in support of her latest album, “Uncovered,” a collection of (you guessed it) cover songs she has said she wished she’d penned. Her tour includes a stop at the Harris Center on Sunday, Oct. 11.

“I had songs already in the hopper that I’d already been doing for years,” Colvin said in a recent interview from her home in Austin, Texas. “I had a list of maybe 10 more that I was gonna learn and see what happened. As it stands, the album came together in only three months.”

The nine albums she has recorded since “Steady On” (1989) have garnered Colvin three Grammys and a string of Grammy nominations, but she needs to be on the road, she said.

“There is even more pressure today since record sales are not what they used to be,” she explained. “I have to tour to make a living and can’t depend on advances from records or royalty checks.”

Colvin said she loves playing live and tries to play a little from each album she has released.

“Of course, there are some songs I don’t play anymore. but I try to rotate the set list when possible. This is especially true when playing two or more nights anywhere,” she said. “To be honest, it’s really hard for me to pick songs and get a working set list for a tour.”

She says she uses voice memo to record and keep ideas because, “I don’t regularly write and play guitar every week like most would assume.”

Right now, though, she’s writing a lot of songs, she said, with American rock/folk musician Steve Earle.

“I’m excited that I will be making an album with Steve Earle in December,” she said of the collaboration planned for release early next year.

The Harris Center audience can expect to hear her new(er) selection of covers as well as some of the many Colvin set staples.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen after these shows, which also include supporting Don Henley on several dates. (She has gigs scheduled into February.) I haven’t planned that far enough, but I certainly have a lot of things floating around that could be on my next record.”

Shawn Colvin

When: 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 11

Where: Harris Center, 10 College Parkway, Folsom

Cost: $35-$45

Information: 916-608-6888