Album Review: Shawn Colvin, ‘Uncovered’

by Kelly McCartney (@theKELword) for FolkAlley.com

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Shawn Colvin, ‘Uncovered’

Anyone who has followed Shawn Colvin’s career for any length of time knows that she is very fond of covering songs. She can’t help it. She got her start as a cover artist in a bar band. As good of a copy cat as she is, however, Colvin learned long ago that she had to make the songs her own by finding their emotional and/or musical pivot points and turning them inside out or upside down, depending on the piece. That’s the beauty of interpretation, at least in the hands of a true songsmith like Colvin.

On her lastest album, ‘Uncovered,’ she puts her stamp on tunes by Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Robbie Robertson, Tom Waits, and others. “American Tune,” “Acadian Driftwood,” “Lodi,” “Not a Drop of Rain,” and “Hold On” all feel like natural fits for Colvin, while Stevie Wonder’s “Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away” undergoes a complete reworking, as does Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” where Colvin swaps the wailing saxophone for a woeful steel guitar. She also invites David Crosby in to sing the harmonies. The resulting effect finds what was once a radio-friendly ditty of hope turned into a hauntingly achy dirge. And it’s wonderful. Alternately, Colvin keeps some of the pep in the step of Crowded House’s “Private Universe,” but scales back its original, highly produced atmosphere to an intimate, solo guitar and vocal affair.

What it comes down to is this: No matter who wrote the songs, ‘Uncovered’ is a Shawn Colvin album through and through.


‘Uncovered’ is available now via Fantasy Records at Amazon.com and iTunes.

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